124 illegal stone crushers demolished in Bihar

Patna, Jan 17 (IANS) Authorities on Sunday demolished more than 120 stone crushers operating illegally in Bihar’s Rohtas district, police said.

“It was part of action against the stone-mining mafia who have been operating in violation of the rule of law,” a district police official said.

Agitated over the action, a group of supporters of stone-crusher owners pelted stones at the raiding police team and tried to disrupt their demolition drive, the official said.

Superintendent of Police M.S. Dhillon, who was leading the raid against the illegal stone crushers, said police teams demolished at least 124 stone crushers at Gopibigha village under Dehri-on-Sone police station area.

“The operation lasted for two-and-a-half hours against the illegal stone crushers,” he said.

The police also seized some crusher machines and generators during the drive, Dhillon said. He said the drive against illegal stone crushers will continue in the district.

A large number of illegal stone crusher units operate in Rohtas and are also involved in illegal mining in protected forest areas.

“These crusher units have been running illegally in full knowledge of district administration due to their close links with those in power in the state administration,” another police official said.

The police action comed two days after it was widely reported that the illegal stone-mining mafia was behind the transfer of Shivdeep Lande as Rohtas superintendent of police in August last year, according to an Intelligence Bureau report submitted to the union home ministry last week.

In April 2015, Lande as Rohtas SP had acted tough against the illegal stone-mining mafia demolishing over 100 stone-crushers in Gopibigha. During that operation, the police team was allegedly fired upon by the henchmen of the stone-crusher owners and pelted with stones.

The IB report reveals that Lande, a 2006-batch IPS officer, was shifted from Rohtas under pressure from the stone-mining mafia operating in south and central Bihar.

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