- Shubham Kishore
- BBC correspondent from Nuh, Haryana
An old viral video is again in discussion among the people of Tawadu, Haryana. In this video from December 2020, you can see how the police are trying to stop illegal mining.
Showing the same video, a local journalist says, “The killing of a DSP is very sad, but the question is whether it could have been avoided, illegal mining is not new here, nor are there clashes with the police And this can’t stop, why is it like that?
In the video it can be seen that some people are doing illegal mining in the Aravalli hills, the policemen reach the bottom of the mountain and make them stop.
Then suddenly the attack starts from above with stones. The police repeatedly warn them, but the stone pelting intensifies. Due to the stone being thrown from a height, the policemen cannot deal with it and have to run away.
Ombir Singh of the Haryana Police, who made this video, was the head of the Tawadu city police station at the time. Speaking to the BBC, he says: “Whenever the police come to the mountains at this time, they are attacked. They are usually attacked with stones.”
Clashes between illegal miners and the police are not new in and around Tavadu. People claim that dumpers full of illegal stones can be seen on the roads.
Yogesh, who lives near Tavadu Bypass, says, “Many times I have seen illegal tracks full of stone on this road, it is very common for us, many times I have also seen police vehicles chasing them.”
Showing the nearby electric cables, he says: “A few days ago, the police were chasing a dump truck, it overturned its truck here and dropped all the stones, you can see, there is also a lot of damage to the cables.” .”
Usually when they are chased, these dump trucks overturn, all the stones put on them fall on the road and the police can’t get ahead and the driver manages to escape.
On July 19, near a nearby village, Tawadu Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Surendra Singh Bishnoi was killed by dumping it. Similar stones were thrown at the place where his body was found.
How is the illegal mining business going?
It is not easy to reach the place where DSP Surendra Singh Bishnoi was killed. From where the roads end in Pachgaon, we were able to reach there through unpaved roads in hilly areas for about twenty minutes.
People nearby said that mining incidents are common in these places. In some places we also saw stones falling. A villager present there said, “These are strong mountains. These stones only come out when you drill them, so it’s clear that mining is going on here.”
The villagers explained that many people from the surrounding villages are involved, some have machines and dumpers, some do mining by hand and some do labor for others.
A police officer said on condition of anonymity: “People in the nearby villages, who do not have any machines, are digging with their hands. Their numbers are many, there is also a danger that the drilling machines will come to the knowledge of the police. happens.”
After the stones are removed, they are loaded into the dump truck and sent to the crusher. These dumpers usually go out on unpaved roads at night to avoid the sight of the police. Many a times the police are unable to do anything even after spotting them.
According to the policeman, “it is not easy to stop them, if they pass through a busy road, and we try to chase or stop, they may try to throw stones or run away. They are big vehicles. If a stone falls on a man’s vehicle common, or if run over by them, there is danger to life, so they are often chased in desert areas.
We saw many crushers in Aravalli areas. People said that many of these are closed, some can work but they can only crush legally removed stone.
But many people familiar with the area say that even the closed shredders are sometimes set up at night, the police do continuous investigations, but it is not difficult to avoid them.
Sayeed (name changed) from a nearby village says, “Within seven to eight minutes a crusher can crush all the stone in the landfill. No matter how careful you are, it cannot be controlled.”
The police people explained that there is often a whistleblower who reports the arrival of the police from below.
Many villagers also say that many villagers’ lives depend on mining.
Sayeed says, “This incident is very sad, one man has made a mistake and many other people in the village will have to bear the brunt of it. It seems they are earning Rs 1,500 very hard with a dumper. The money is earned by them. who take their contract and sell the ballast on the market.
Some people told us that a cart with six tires sells for Rs 15,000 to 17,000. Apart from many small traders, some senior people are also said to be active in this business.
Leader of the Opposition in Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has accused the mafia of providing protection. “The mafia is working at this level without any fear, of course it is protected,” he said.
When we reached Pachgaon after this incident, the police had increased vigilance. Fearing the police, many people had fled the town.
Speaking about this, Haryana Police spokesperson Krishan Kumar told the BBC, “Those who are involved in illegal mining will not be released, but those who are innocent need not be afraid.”
Police stations are full of trucks
According to news agency PTI, 23 FIRs have been registered against Noah this year. According to government data, 68 vehicles were impounded during this period and Rs 4,28,400 was collected as fine.
When we reached the Tawadu Sadar and the city police station, many cargo trucks were seen parked there. Some of them were caught in the last few months, while some were there for a long time.
In the year 2021-22, 239 FIRs were registered against Noah. A local journalist told us that for a while, there were continuous cases of mining, the police also acted in many cases, but they could not stop it.
The news was continuously published in the local media.
News related to mining was constantly published in the local pages of newspapers and local media, some news also raised questions about the police.
On 13 May 2022, a picture appeared in Dainik Jagran newspaper, which claimed that the truck containing illegal stones was seen passing through Sohna Road in the morning without any restrictions. In the same report, Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singhla’s statement has also been printed, saying that “SPOs and policemen have been served with show-cause notices posted at various nakas.”
In addition, a news story published on March 20, 2022 with the image of the site said that during the illegal mining, a part of the mountain collapsed and a dump truck and an excavator were buried in it. land
Three days later, on March 23, another report emerged, according to which the police were chasing a dump truck whose driver managed to escape by throwing rocks on the road.
In these local newspaper reports, questions were raised about the police and people posted in the nakas. The whole news has also included statements from senior police officials, in which they talk about taking strict steps and continuously working in this direction.
did the police make a mistake?
Local journalists say that the police and miners have clashed and had an idea of the danger, and also question whether it was right for DSP Surendra Singh to go there without security.
We tried to contact Nuh with SP Varun Singhla regarding this matter but he could not be reached.
Talking to us, Haryana Police spokesperson said that all norms were followed during the check.
He said: “It was a routine check, the check is done during the day, the check is done at the naka, the duty is fixed there, the check was being done on such a day. They got information that is doing illegal mining there, like a lot of it.” He was not aware of it, so he left from there, on reaching there, on seeing the police car, the dumper driver started running away. The road was at a height, he stopped after traveling a short distance. The DSP heard that he was seeing the police. He stopped, so he got out of his jeep. But he stayed to catch the cat and drop the stones. They crushed him during the time he dropped the stones.”
The Aravalli Range passes through several states including Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi and is home to a wide variety of animals and birds.
In 2002, the Supreme Court had banned mining in the Aravallis, but cases of illegal mining continue to surface.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and the administrations of Nuh, Gurugram and Faridabad to order a joint committee to check illegal mining.