Chandigarh – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday condemned the murderous attack on two forest of – ficials in Mohali by the sand mafia, saying attacks of government officials as well as large scale illegal sand mining were continuing unabated because the Congress government was patronising the mafia and also hand in glove with it.In a statement here, the SAD president said the heinous attack on forest officials on Tuesday, who were trying to check illegal mining in Majri block in Mohali, proved that the state had descended into jungle raj. “The sand mafia has become so bold that it is ready to murder government officials coming in the way of its illegal operations,” he said, stating that the Congress government was hand in glove with the sand mafia. Badal said that this become clear in the run up to Shahkot elections when the state shielded Congressman and party candidate Hardev Singh Laddi despite grave charges of illegal sand mining against him. “No action was taken despite video-graphic evidence against Laddi in the form of a sting. This gave a fillip to the sand mafia, which is now looting and pillaging the natural resources of the State without any fear of retribution,” he said.The SAD president said with the Congress government refusing to rein in the mafia except for making empty noises and releasing videos of illegal mining from helicopters, the party would now approach Governor VP Singh Badnore and ask him to direct the State to take action against the sand mafia as well as rotten apples in its own government who are patronising as well as running it from behind the scenes.“We will also demand an end to the goonda tax being enforced by the mafia on movement of sand mined illegally besides a concrete policy to reduce sand prices to end the anguish being faced by the common man on this issue,” he said.
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