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MP murder: State cancels mining contracts

MP murder: State cancels mining contracts

The CPI(M) and the JD(U) demanded strict action against the mining mafia and the parties haven't ruled out political complicity.

Bhopal: The Chhattarpur district administration on Sunday cancelled all sand mining contracts in the district after media outrage over IPS officer Narendra Kumar's killing and a second attack on a sub-divisional magistrate and police officials in Panna.

IPS officer Narendra Kumar was allegedly crushed to death under a tractor that was loaded with illegally-mined stones in Morena, Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. Kumar had tried to stop the tractor. The tractor driver, however, kicked him and Kumar fell down. The driver then reportedly ran the tractor over him. While the driver has been apprehended and the MP government has ordered a judicial probe, Kumar's widow, herself an IPS officer, has demanded a CBI probe.

"This was not an accident. I have worked in that area. If you are involved in such work then you will end up getting killed. I expect the government to order a CBI inquiry," she said.

The second attack, in which the judicial team, on its way to investigate reports of illegal sand mining, was ambushed in Panna by unidentified gunmen, has also been blamed on the illegal mining mafia.

Officers working in the belt have often alleged a nexus between the mining mafia and local politicians.

Prakash Verma, mining officer in Chhatarpur, said, "These people (mining mafia) are working under the shelter of locals leaders. They are trying to threaten us. The sand mafia even made a bridge in Panna for illegal mining."

The BJP government, which is under attack for failing to take action against the mining mafia, has blamed the Congess, which in turn has blamed the government of trying to deflect responsibility.

Kailash Vijayvargiya, MP Industry Minister, said, "This is a conspiracy that has been hatched by the Congress. The place where the incident took place, a Congress man was being investigated and it is said that he was involved in the incident. The police is looking into the matter."

Uma Shankar Gupta, state Home Minister, said, "Shivraj Singh started taking on the land mafia, mining mafia and other white collar people, who were prospering when the Congress was in power. These people thought that nobody could stand against them, but were shocked after the MP government's crackdown. This incident is merely a reaction to their shock."

Abhay Dube, a Congress spokesperson, however lashed back, saying, "Whenever there is a case of rape or any criminal activity like this incident that involves the mining mafia, the state government conveniently places the blame on the Opposition and tries to absolve itself of all responsibilities."

Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, meanwhile, said on Sunday that he will speak to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the killing of IPS officer Narendra Kumar and the growing illegal mining mafia in the state. "I will speak to the chief minister and ask him for strict action against the accused who are behind the murder of such a young IPS officer," said Yadav.

CPI leader D Raja remarked that the killing was nothing but a cold blooded murder.

He added, "Unless there was political patronage, such a killing cannot take place. A CBI probe is very much required in this case. The MP government should see how such kind of mafias can function in the state leading to such deaths. Strict action should be taken."

Panna firing case: MP police detains main accused

The MP police on Sunday arrested Kuber Singh in connection with the firing on the police team which had intercepted illegal sand mining in Chandipatha on Saturday. Singh is the main accused in the case.

The men engaged in illegal excavation opened fire on the team headed by Ajaygarh sub-divisional magistrate Nathuram Goud and sub divisional police officer Jagannath Singh Markam in Chandipatha, about 70-80 km from the district headquarters.