Hyderabad: Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, a delegation of Congress leaders met Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan on Friday seeking his intervention to stop the rising activities of sand mafia.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, in the representation given to the Governor, pointed out that one Sailoo, 36, of Koregoan village has been allegedly murdered by sand mafia last night.
He has been run over by tractors belonging to sand mafia. Demanding that a case of murder under Section 302 be registered against the contractor and all others who are involved into the act, he demanded impartial enquiry into the incident. He also demanded Rs. 25 lakh ex-gratia for the family of Sailoo.
The TPCC chief alleged that the sand mafia has been spreading its tentacles across the Telangana state. He said while poor people are losing their lives due to the harassment of contractors, sand worth thousands of crores was being looted in broad daylight due to the negligence of TRS Government. He said that the sand mafia was daringly conducting its operations while flouting all rules.
Those who are opposing their activities are either being killed or harassed through various means. He said eight persons belonging to SC, ST and BC communities in Nerella of Sircilla were brutally tortured using local police when they raised their voice against sand mafia.
He said that the Congress party has submitted several representations exposing the nexus between sand mafia and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s close relatives in Sircilla. However, he said no action has been taken so far.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said as against the rules of carrying 6-17 cubic metres of sand in 6-14 tyres vehicles, the sand mafia is carrying over 50% extra load. The overloaded vehicles are damaging the roads and causing accidents. He said several people have lost their lives due to the accidents caused by sand mafia vehicles.
When some local residents held protest in Sircilla, they were arrested and tortured by the police. Despite complaints, no action has been initiated against Superintendent of Police Viswajeet. In fact, he was reportedly sent to Darjeeling for training as a reward.
He said the local residents have narrated their sufferings at the hands of sand mafia when former Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar visited them. However, the government did not change its attitude and allowed sand mafia to spread its network to other parts of Telangana State. He demanded that justice be done with the victims of Sircilla incident.
The TPCC chief said too much excavation was causing huge damage to the environment and groundwater levels in the surroundings. He said the guidelines framed by the Technical Committee were being violated and the sand was being transported even during nights. He said that the entire operations were being carried out with the connivance of police, ruling party leaders and contractors.
He said that the sand mafia has turned so strong that they are now targeting the government officials. He also pointed out that following media reports of Sailoo’s murder, nearly 60 lorries were seized. Describing the seizure as eyewash, he said does police and other authorities need media reports to perform their duty.
Were they not aware of sand mafia activities in their areas before the media reported about the alleged murder? he asked.
Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the some top level personalities were involved in illegal sand mining operations. He demanded a high level enquiry into the illegal sand mining activities. He also suggested that an all party meeting be convened to discuss the issue and formulate a comprehensive new sand policy in consultation with experts.
Speaking to media persons later, Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed Mines Minister K. Tarakarama Rao for his silence on alleged murder committed by sand mafia. He said KTR Tweets on international affairs, but remains ignorant on issues concerning his department.
He said the prices of sand have escalated due to the illegal sand mining. As against Rs. 15,000 per lorry, sand is now being sold for Rs. 60,000. He said that the State’s exchequer has been losing revenues of thousands of crores while a few members of sand mafia, who are close to KCR, are looting Telangana’s resources.
The Congress leaders also gave a memorandum to the Governor on the arrest of MPRS leader Manda Krishna Madiga. Alleging that Krishna Madiga’s arrest was illegal and unconstitutional, they said that the TRS Government was targeting the MRPS leader by implicating him into false cases.
They demanded that Krishna Madiga be released immediately and all cases registered against him and other MRPS activists should be withdrawn. They also requested the Governor to ask the Chief Minister to take an all-party delegation to Delhi on the issue of SC categorisation.
The Congress delegation comprised of Leaders of Opposition K. Jana Reddy (Assembly) and Shabbir Ali (Council), MLAs D.K. Aruna and A. Sampath Kumar, MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, ex-union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, ex-MPs M. Anjan Kumar Yadav and Dr. Mallu Ravi, TPCC chief spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan, ex-miniter Danam Nagender and others. (INN)