In a horrifying incident that captures the terror of the mining mafia in Haryana, a senior police officer was run over by a stone-laden truck in Nuh today when he went to stop the illegal mining of stones.
Surendra Singh Bishnoi, a DSP rank officer, had received information that stones were being illegally mined at Pachgaon near the Aravalli mountain range. He reached the spot around 11 am today along with a police team.
On spotting the police personnel, those involved in the illegal mining started fleeing the spot. The senior officer stood in the way and signalled the stone-laden vehicles to stop. But the driver of a truck ran him over, killing him on the spot. Two other policemen had a narrow escape as they jumped aside. The accused then fled the area.
Police have now launched a search operation to arrest them. In a condolence message put out by its official Twitter handle, Haryana police said “no effort shall be spared in bringing the offenders to face justice”.
DSP Taoru Sh Surender Singh laid down his life today in the course of duty. #HaryanaPolice extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family of the brave officer. No effort shall be spared in bringing the offenders to face justice.
— Haryana Police (@police_haryana) July 19, 2022
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar assured strict action against those involved and expressed condolences and also announced Rs1 crore compensation for the family of the police officer.
“Our condolences go out to bereaved family. A total of Rs 1 crore would be provided in compensation to the kin of the martyred police officer. We would also provide a job to one of his family members,” announced Chief Minister Khattar.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the mining mafia won’t be spared. “We will take strict action. No one will be spared,” he said.
BJP MP from Hisar Brijendra Singh condemned the killing and said the state government should take strict action. “The killing of a senior police officer in such a manner is not at all acceptable. The state government should take immediate action to send a loud and clear message to the criminal elements in the state,” he told reporters outside parliament.
The senior police officer, it is learnt, was from Hisar.
According to the Economic Survey of Haryana for 2021-22, tabled before the Assembly on March 8, a total of 21,450 illegal mining cases were detected in the state, including transportation of minerals without valid documents, from 2014-15 up to September 2021.
Despite a Supreme Court ban order dating back to 2009, mining has continued unabated at several places in the Aravalli region.
A group of citizens, named Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement, approached the National Green Tribunal earlier this year. They alleged that illegal mining was rampant in at least 16 locations in the region.
“In many locations, substantial portions of the hills have been mined and taken away and, in some instances, completely razed to the ground,” the petitioners told the tribunal.
They also alleged police inaction on many complaints of illegal mining.
The tribunal then constituted a joint committee of representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the central and state pollution control boards, state police and mining and forest officers. This panel, the tribunal said, would visit the identified locations to check if illegal mining is on.