Gwalior: Days after a deputy ranger from the forest department was crushed to death under the wheels of a tractor trolley carrying illegal mined sand in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, the fearless mining mafia struck again, shooting two forest department employees in the Ghatigaon area of Gwalior on Wednesday.
Deputy ranger in-charge Harivallabh Chaturvedi and forest guard Harishchandra Singh Chauhan got critically injured in the assault and are recuperating at a private hospital in Gwalior, the police said. Chauhan is an ex-serviceman who had joined the forest department after retirement.
The incident happened when some forest department officials seized two tractor trolleys loaded with illegal mined stones near Chhikri Mata temple in Tighri forest range. The mining mafia ambushed and assaulted the officials when they were moving towards their office with the seized vehicles.
Over a dozen armed men fired bullets at the forest department staff in which Chaturvedi sustained five bullets and four bullets hit Chauhan. Range officer Jyoti Chhabaria also sustained injuries after falling to the ground while running for cover. The mining mafia members managed to snatch the tractor trolley and flee.
The forest department had reportedly sought police force from the superintendent of police, but the police cover could not be offered to the forest staff due to staff crunch.
Manish Dabar, SHO of Tighra police station, said that most of the staff from the police station was out on duty or election training so he could not officer help.