Udupi , April 13, 2017: Further to the attack on the Udupi DC by the sand mafia that rocked the floor of the zilla panchayat general body meeting and resulted in the exchange of heated arguments between both Congress and BJP members. BJP member Suresh Batwade said the incident has created an alarming situation, which proved the supremacy of the sand mafia never like before in the district. The highest-ranking bureaucrat in the district has no security and the officers are being attacked. Batwade said the house should take a unanimous decision condemning the brutal act.
Congress member Janardhan Thonse, lauding the efforts of the DC and the assistant commissioner Kundapur in raiding the sand mining area, said the root cause of the problem should be found to put an end to the illegal activities.
He said the officers in Police department, Mines and Geology and Revenue departments should be condemned for the failure. BJP member Prathap Hedge Marali accused the district in-charge minister for the lapse in curbing illegal sand mining activities. The law and order system has collapsed in the district due to stringent control of the minister over police, Marali said.
BJP member Raghvendra Kanchan said the statements issued by district in-charge minister after the incident shows his reckless approach. Member Uday Kotian said the government has failed to formulate a permanent sand policy in the district.
The law-makers have proved to be the law violators, said Kotian. Member Babu Shetty said the district in-charge minister has lost control over the officers.A heated exchange of the arguments between both party members consumed few hours. They demanded details over the measures taken by the Police department and district administration.
Udupi DC Priyanka Mary Francis said that illegal sand bags have been recovered in a joint operation with the cooperation of all concerned departments. Eighty nine loads of sand are preserved in the local sand yard in Kundapur. All measures have been taken to vacate the stay order in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on sand mining in CRZ area.
The notification for CRZ blocks will be issued shortly and the experts from NITK, Surathkal, will analyse it tomorrow and send the report to the government within a week. The Mangaluru deputy commissioner has assured to offer sand depending on the demand.
The DC also recommended M-sand and said permission for there units will be granted in Karkala. However, members disagreed for M-Sand stating that M-sand is costly when compared to sand.
Additional SP Vishnuvardhan said that 20 out of the total 50 accused in the FIR have already been arrested. Two teams under DySPs of Kundapur and Udupi have been formed to work round the clock. The task force meet that had been held has resulted in formation of day and night flying squads.
He said that in Kundapur, DAR platoon has been reserved exclusively to conduct raids if need arises. More than 160 security cases have been booked and five have been extradited. Out of the total arrests, nine are from different states. The technical data has been verified, he said. The charges mentioned in the FIR are under rioting, MMRD, 1957 and IPC 307.
The inquiry is being held to track the owners of the sand jetty, he added and said the department will also consider charging Goonda Act on the accused.