In yet another example of the mining mafia having little fear of law and order in the Chambal region, a group of illegal sand miners fired upon the forest department team and fled with the tractors being used for the illegal quarrying of sand in Morena district on Friday.
The forest staffers were reported safe after they ran for cover during the shooting.
In the last few months mining mafias have assaulted forest staffers in several incidents.
The forest team was out on patrol on the highway at around 9 am and spotted a tractor-trolley laden with illegally mined sand from the Chambal river at Jaura turn, Divisional Forest Officer Morena Amit Nigam said. Seeing the forest staff approaching, the tractor driver turned the vehicle towards Nivi village in a bid to escape.
While the forest staffers managed to surround the vehicle, one of the assailant’s opened fire from a country-made pistol. The shooting alerted his associates and around five more miscreants reached the site and opened fire at the forest team.
The officials ran for cover and the tractor driver quickly emptied the trolley in a pit and fled the scene with the vehicle. No staffer was injured in the incident.
“We have complained to Civil Lines police for action,” Nigam said.
In the last few months, SDO Forest Shraddha Pandhre was assaulted by the mining mafia multiple times over her action against illegal mining. The SDO was even transferred from Morena and her superiors had written to the state government for revoking the transfer orders.
The illegal miners assaulted other forest staffers on several occasions.