Punjab Police Arrest 16 People in Illegal Sand Mining Case in Mohali

Reported by

Damandeep Singh

Published on

July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

Updated on

July 18, 2017

Location of Conflict

Majri Block, Kharar sub-divison

Mohali

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Sand Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

2633

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

444

ha

Starting Year

2017

State

Punjab

Sector

Mining

Rampant illegal sand mining in Mohali's Majri block continues to pose danger to several villages in the area. Media reports indicate that the residents of four villages Khijrabaad, Kubbaheri, Hirdapur and Mianpur Jhangar, among others have been struggling to prevent illegal mining in their region. Rampant mining in the block has reportedly adversely affected the local ecosystem, besides agricultual land, especially owned by mostly impoverished farmers. The wealthy farmers, on the other hand, have allegedly been in cohorts with several miners themselves, renting them tippers to carry out mining. Mining contractors have reportedly even dug up forestland, along with sand hills, in forested areas near these villages, defying the Punjab Land Protection Act. This Act prohibits the use of forestland for commercial purposes. The affected farmers are finding it hard to cultivate the land because the entire area is full of deep pits created by mining activities. The farmers say they are repeatedly threatened and harassed by the mining mafia for raising their voice. Kadhial Singh, 69, a resident of Mianpur Jhangar village, told the media that the musclemen of the mining contractors beat them up if they raise a finger. We feel ashamed and helpless at the same time that we cannot even protect our land. Whenever we approach any government officer, we are assured of action, but nothing happens on the ground," he said. Allegedly, the contractors have also forced several farmers to sell their land at[ cheaper](http://these contractors force them to sell their land at cheaper rates) rates. Acting on complaints lodged by the residents of Khijrabaad, Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra visited the affected villages in July 2018. She committed to seek a report from the Punjab Pollution Control Board about the crushers operational in the area. Asserting that she had been kept in the dark about the illegal mining, she commented that it is a nexus where many lowerrung employees of government departments and even police might have been involved. Not a single official of any department concerned had informed me about the mining. I will investigate the matter, and also ask the SSP to take action against the erring employees. However, the mining continued unchecked. In the next two months, eight cases were registered for illegal sand mining under relevant sections of the Mining Act. In five of these cases, the accused were reported to be unknown who fled leaving behind their vehicles. The village residents are not too hopeful of positive police action in the matter because of the past record of the administration in dealing with sand mining.
In December 2020, the police reportedly arrested 16 persons involved in sand mining in the block and seized a .32 bore pistol, one excavator machine and eight vehicles, including five loaded tipper trucks, two sports utility vehicles, a Sorpio and a Safari. Five separate cases were registered at the Majri police station.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to stop illegal sand mining

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest, Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Other, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900
Section 3: [State government has the power to notify areas where it is desirable to provide for the conservation of sub-soil water or the prevention of erosion]; Section 4 and 5: [State government has the power to restrict certain commercial activities in notified areas]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 4(1): [No person shall undertake any mining operations in any area except under a mining lease granted under the Act]; Section 21(1): [Penalty for violating Section 4(1) is imprisonment for up to five years and fine up to INR 5 lakh per hectare of the area]
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Sections 378-379: [Theft and punishment for theft]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2: [Forestland cannot be used for any non-forest purpose without prior approval of the Union government]
Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining dated January 2020
Part 4.0: [These guidelines collate directions and orders given by various courts and stipulate the necessary requirements to comply with the same. Emphasis is placed on replenishment of sand, monitoring movement of sand mineral and regular surveillance of sand mining areas using UAVs/drones]
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  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

The farmers say they are repeatedly threatened and harassed by the mining mafia for raising their voice. Kadhial Singh, 69, a resident of Mianpur Jhangar village, told the media that the musclemen of the mining contractors beat them up if they raise a finger

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Majri block

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Villagers, Farmers, Forest officials, Sand Mafia

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
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