Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 25:
Twin city Commissionerate Police will conduct an inquiry into the alleged rampant loot and smuggling of valuable graphite ore from illegal quarries right under the nose of the government on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city following an expose in our sister concern and leading Odia television news channel Kanak News.
Twin city Commissioner of Police (CP) Rajendra Prasad Sharma and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Satyabrata Bhoi will lead the probe team.
In the expose aired on Kanak News on Thursday, locals alleged complicity of three police stations coming under the capital city area in the rampant quarrying and smuggling of graphite. The three police stations are Chandaka, Nandankanan and Barang.
Commissionerate Police will inquire to find out if any police officers from these police stations were linked to the smuggling of the mineral in anyway.
After inquiry is complete, appropriate action will be taken against police officers found to be having links with the illegal mining, said DCP Satyabrata Bhoi adding that raids will be conducted on illegal quarries.
“We are aware of it. These minor minerals are being excavated from some quarries coming under Chandaka, Nandankanan and Barang. We had also conducted raids on several occasions earlier. We had seized these minerals and had arrested forwarded some persons involved in the illegal quarrying to court after arresting them. Considering the fresh allegations, we will further intensify our raids. We will also issue directions for stern action against police personnel found to be having links with the illegal quarrying business. In consultation with Revenue department officials, we will chalk out a plan for a complete halt to the illegal business while allocating dedicated personnel for conducting raids,” Bhoi told reporters today.
On the other hand, people of Daruthenga village have told Kanak News that they have complained against the smugglers before the police and district administration on several occasions, but nothing has happened.
“They have been quarrying minerals for more than 20 years. We had planted trees there but those have been removed by them. Quarrying is still continuing unabated. We had reported the matter to the local Revenue Inspector (RI), police and others, but nobody heard us and nothing happened. We have lodged complaints with the collector, tehsildar, sub-collector, local police station and even the local sarpanch. However, nothing has happened yet to stop it,” said a villager of Daruthenga village.