Punjab & Region

Man arrested for illegal mining, damaging plantation at Forest land in Chamkaur Sahib

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, June 10

With the Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against the illegal mining, the Rupnagar Police have arrested a man for illegally excavating sand from the notified Forest land in Jindapur village in Chamkaur Sahib.

 The arrested accused identified as Iqbal Singh, a resident of Salahpur village was also accused of damaging plantation carried out by the Forest Department under the  Punjab Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (PUNCAMPA) programme of the state government. Moreover, sections of the Indian Forest Act and Forest (Conservation) Act were enforced on this Forest Land.

  The Police have also impounded a JCB Machine and a Poclain Machine, which was being used by the accused to carry out illegal mining.

 The development came a few days after the Vigilance Bureau arrested the former Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for his involvement in organised corruption pertaining to the issuance of permits for cutting of Khair trees, transfer of officials, purchases, and issuance of NOCs etc.

The Forest Range Officer Chamkaur Sahib in the FIR stated that Iqbal Singh along with some unidentified persons was indulged in illegal mining at Government’s Forest land at Jindapur village and have been illegally excavating sand using Tippers and Poclain Machines. “When staff from the Forest Department tried to intervene and halt the illegal mining, accused persons terming the forest land as owned by them denied to stop illegal mining,” the FIR reads.

  Pertinently, illegal mining was being carried out in the constituency of the then Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and that too, during his tenure.

 Meanwhile, the First Information Report (FIR) under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections  21 (1) and 4 (1) of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act was registered at Police Station Chamkaur Sahib on the complaint of Forest Range Officer Chamkaur Sahib.