Up in arms against sand mafia, villagers put up barricade
Chak Mirpur (Mukerian), Kusum Arora – Claiming illegal sand mining mafia ruling the roost, Chak Mirpur villagers in Mukerian joined hands to put up an iron grill barricade in the village but their attempt was challenged by the police and the district administration on Saturday. Two months ago, Chak Mirpur villagers in Talwara block of Mukerian sub division in Hoshiarpur had put up the barricade to stop the plying of overloaded trucks in the village. A team of police and district administration removed the barricade following Punjab and Haryana high court orders. The court has directed to remove the barricade.The village situated on Punjab border was witness to inter-state light mineral smuggling via Himachal Pradesh, leading to broken roads in the village and accidents due to the trucks. Led by ‘Khanan Roko –Zameen Bachao Sangharsh Committee’, the Chak Mirpur villagers said that they wrote to the concerned officials several times but to no avail. “We not only made written complaints against the plying of over speeding trucks from the inter-village roads but also approached the officials many times but to no avail”, they said.They said that the barricade brought respite from the thick blanket of dust emanating because of the plying of trucks, broken roads and accidents. “But, today, the police removed the barricade citing reason that we could not block public road. We strongly resisted their decision and once they were gone, the barricade was put up again”, they added. It came to the fore that four days ago, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Komal Mittal had called the villagers to her office and directed them to remove the barricade.The SDM said that they were duty bound to take action following court orders. “The decision to remove the barricade was taken following Punjab and Haryana High Court orders. The crushers and sand mining khud owners had filed a writ petition in the court and we were duty bound to remove it. We also held meeting with the villagers to amicably solve the matter but they did not listen.” Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal said that the matter was in his notice. “There is only one road, which connects the village with the bordering area of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. We are ready to talk to the villagers. If need be, we would also put up a police and transport naka to ensure that no such illegal mining overloaded trucks ply from that stretch”, he said. The DC maintained that the road was a public property and the villagers could not be allowed to take law in their hands. “We are hopeful of an amicable solution”, he added.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook