Balasore, September 16 (LocalWire): The Nilgiri tehsildar Susrita Tudu, revenue inspectors of Mitrapur and Santragadia and a few other officials were assaulted and abused by the sand mafia when they raided the sand loading site at the Sono riverbed in Kathapal, late night on Saturday.
Tudu and her team were conducting the raid to check illegal transhipment and had intercepted three sand-laden tractors when 50-strongmen of the mafia attacked them.
Besides assaulting the government officials and abusing them, the miscreants also damaged the office vehicles and took away the tractors.
On receiving the information, the Nilgiri police station inspector-in-charge rushed to rescue the staff and brought them to safety. The police have started to conduct raids to nab the accused persons.
According to sources, Todu and her team arrested one of the accused Sukanta Chaudhary (28) of village Karanjia on the charges of obstructing government officials in their duties and assaulting them.
Sources also inform that the district collector K Sudharshan Chakrarverthy also visited Nilgiri to inspect the sand-lifting points and take stock of the situation.
He reviewed the situation along with officials, including local sub-collector, police and revenue staff and has warned of stern action against the sand mafias for smuggling mineral resources.
Locals allege that the sand mafias continue to flourish despite restrictions and enforcements since they carry out the operation in connivance with the enforcement agencies.
The district administration has clamped Sec 144 CrPc in Pundal and Radhakishorpur and banned sand lifting from these patches.
The administration has also blocked the passage to these sites to prevent movement of tractors on the route.
Locals point out that the problem of illegal sand mining is not limited to Sono, but spreads across Budhabalang and Subarnarekha. According to them, the known illegal lifting points at the Sono river are Kathpal, Pundal, Radhakishorpur, and Beugnia.