Mangaluru, Nov 27, 2019: The police have acted tough against the sand mafia by extending support to the Mines and Geology Department to conduct raids on illegal sand extraction from rivers in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) as well as registering theft cases against illegal sand transportation.
Police Commissioner P.S. Harsha told The Hindu here on Tuesday that the police supported the drive by the Mines and Geology Department against sand extractors and transporters who were misusing permits for extraction and transportation of sand last month.
Over 800 vehicles were seized during one such drive, he said. During the raids, the police seized boats as well as machinery illegally used for sand extraction, the commissioner said.
Meanwhile, the police have also invoked Sections 378 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deal with theft of property, with the South Sub-division Police registering as many as nine cases in the last one week, Dr. Harsha said.
Considering sand as government property, its illegal extraction and transportation were booked under these sections. Nine goods vehicles and a car were seized during the operation while registered owners of these vehicles were booked for theft, punishment for which includes fine and imprisonment up to three years.
Dr. Harsha said that though last year’s High Court order put the Mines and Geology Department as the sole agency to deal with sand extraction and transportation, the District Sand Monitoring Committee rules helped the police crack down on illegal operations. Since police officers too were designated officers under the committee rules, the police invoked this provision to deal with illegal extraction and transportation of sand, he said.
Netravathi river under the City Police Commissionerate looks almost devoid of hundreds of boats engaged in sand extraction, areas beyond Arkula till Thumbe in the same river that fall under district police limits witness hectic sand extraction activities, including use of dredgers, motorised boats and earthmovers, said a resident of Arkula who wished to remain anonymous.