The Punjab Police has issued instructions to top officials in all districts to put an immediate stop to illegal mining in the state.
Acting on the directives of the Punjab government, DGP Suresh Arora held a video conference with all the top police officials, including police commissioners and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) on Monday, a police spokesperson said.
The SSPs were advised to coordinate closely with their respective deputy commissioners and also explore the possibility of using the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for installing CCTV cameras at the check posts, set up for checking illegal mining and associated offences.
The DGP also directed the SSPs to hold regular meetings with the contractors, who have secured mining contracts legally, to ensure that they are not unnecessarily harassed, the police spokesperson said.
The DGP also held a meeting with the Secretary of the state mining department, Kumar Rahul, to formulate a joint strategy to curb illegal mining in the state. Rahul was assured full cooperation and assistance by the police in this regard, he added.
These initiatives come in the wake of the state cabinet decision to check all illegal mining activity through all possible measures, in close coordination with the police.
Aam Admi Party MLA and leader of Opposition in Punjab, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, also sought a probe into the alleged ‘goonda tax’ being charged from the business and industry by the ruling party MLAs in south Punjab’s Bathinda on Monday.
Khaira alleged that two construction firms in Bathinda had claimed that money was being extorted from them.
Earlier on Sunday, Shiromani Akali Dal appealed to the Punjab and Haryana hight court Chief Justice to probe the extortion racket led by Bathinda based Congress leaders who were imposing goonda tax in the form of Jojo Service Tax (JST) on sand and gravel being used in projects in the Bathinda refinery.