statesman news service
BHOPAL, 12 JUNE: Illegal miners armed with guns opened fire on a police party that had gone to prevent them from transporting illegally mined sand from Nandpura village in Morena district on Tuesday night.
The incident occurred barely a year after the killing of a young IPS officer, Narendra Kumar, allegedly at the hands of illegal miners in the district. Several similar incidents have been reported earlier, too, from various areas of the state where illegal mining is rampant.
The area where the incident occurred is reserved for Gharial (crocodile) conservation.
Acting on a tip-off, police reached Gudaghat to prevent the miners from mining sand illegally from river Chambal in the Nandpura village area where endangered gharials are found, Morena district superintendent of police (SP) Irshad Wali said.
However, the miners, along with the villagers, started firing at police and also hurled stones at them. When police also fired in retaliation, they escaped the spot in their sand-laden vehicles.
Later, police reached the village and seized the vehicles loaded with illegally mined sand, the SP said.
The SP said a case of attempt to murder and rioting has been registered against 24 persons but so far nobody has been arrested.
Meanwhile, villagers claimed police have seized a tractor-trolley engaged in agriculture-related work last night. The locals tried to protest in front of a police station but had to retreat due to heavy police deployment.