Punjab governor asks DGP to probe ‘illegal sand mining racket’ - Hindustan Times
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Punjab governor asks DGP to probe ‘illegal sand mining racket’

By, Chandigarh
Feb 01, 2022 02:23 AM IST

Releasing a copy of the letter sent by the governor’s principal secretary JM Balamurugan to the state police chief, Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha on Monday said the governor had ordered the DGP to conduct the probe into illegal sand mining on the basis of a demand made by the party in a memorandum submitted to him last week

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit has asked director general of police (DGP) VK Bhawra to get a high-level inquiry conducted into the “multilayered illegal sand mining racket” in the state.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha says inquiry into the illegal sand mining was ordered by the Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit on the basis of party’s demand for the same. (HT File)
Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha says inquiry into the illegal sand mining was ordered by the Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit on the basis of party’s demand for the same. (HT File)

Releasing a copy of the letter sent by the governor’s principal secretary JM Balamurugan to the state police chief, Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha on Monday said the governor had ordered the DGP to conduct the probe into illegal sand mining on the basis of a demand made by the party in a memorandum submitted to him last week. “We had submitted a letter to the governor and demanded an inquiry against chief minister (Charanjit Singh) Channi,” he said at a press conference.

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The inquiry order is being seen as a setback for the Congress whose leaders, including MLAs, have been accused of involvement or patronising illegal sand mining from time to time. Punjab Lok Congress chief and former CM Capt Amarinder Singh, who headed the Congress government for four-and-a-half-years, has also been claiming that several Congress MLAs were engaged in the illegal trade of sand. “The one and only mistake I made during my entire tenure was that I did not take any action then, out of my sense of loyalty to the Congress,” the PLC chief had stated recently.

The AAP delegation led by Chadha had met the governor on January 24 seeking his intervention for registration of FIR in illegal sand mining in the state. Balamurugan sent the letter to Bhawra the same day with the copy of the memorandum. “I am directed to request you to have an investigation done on this matter at the highest level. Action taken on the matter may kindly be informed to this office,” he wrote. Balamurugan did not respond to calls.

Chadha said the AAP would keep an eye on the investigation of Punjab Police as it was a very serious matter. “If there is any lapse in the investigation, then we will raise our voice against it and bring the truth to the people,” he said. The party delegation had also informed the governor that crores of rupees and documents were seized in the ED raids on Channi’s relative. The party has been alleging that sand mafia was operating in Punjab, including Jindapur village of the chief minister’s constituency, no action was taken despite complaint.

EC should stall order’s execution: Jakhar

Former Punjab Congress president and party’s campaign committee chairman Sunil Jakhar said the Election Commission should stall the execution of the governor’s order. “Apparently the highest court deciding a drug case kept the election process in mind but Governor has no such compunction instituting inquiry against CM Punjab. Forget the constitutional propriety, even remaining shrads of federalism demolished. EC should stall order’s execution (sic),” he tweeted.

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