Mining GM writes to Secy: ‘Govt must protect officers’
Patiala: A day after General Manager, Mining, Tehal Singh Sekhon was allegedly kept in illegal custody and beaten up inside a police station after he checked a truck involved in illegal mining, he has written to the Industries and Commerce secretary demanding action against the SHO.
Sekhon claimed the police official beat him up to “strike a compromise with the mining mafia henchmen”, even as the Patiala police — whose role has come under a scanner — were contemplating registering an “attempt to murder” FIR against the mining officer, for firing “at the truck”.
The police also failed to check the ownership of the showroom near Rajgarh village where the mining mafia was dumping the sand. The showroom is allegedly owned by a close aide of a ruling party politician.
In his letter, Sekhon alleged that the mining mafia mercilessly beat him up and also snatched his personal revolver, even as the police played a partisan role “as the mafia was connected to a Congress MLA”.
Sekhon also met Patiala IG AS Rai, who has been asked to submit a detailed report on the issue by the Chief Minister’s office.
“SHO Kulwinder Singh misbehaved with me and when I refused to strike a compromise with the mining mafia henchmen, he beat me up and my son, who had reached the police station, with a stick. I was kept for over six hours in the police station, while the accused were let off with lighter sections of the IPC,” the letter said.
“My charges of attempt to murder, attempt to kidnapping were never included in the FIR and no action was taken against the erring SHO, who connived with the mining mafia, instead of siding with a government officer doing his duty.”
Sekhon alleged that the mining mafia that attacked him was backed by Ghanaur MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur and “under his pressure” the local police wanted him to strike a compromise. However Jalalpur said he had nothing to do with the matter.
Considered close to former Union minister Preneet Kaur, Jalalpur is an influential government contractor-turned-politician. He had contested successfully as an Independent in 2007 only to return to the Congress and becoming a party MLA earlier this year.
Meanwhile, in his letter, Sekhon wrote that “under such circumstances, we are unable to work against illegal mining”, adding that the police and departmental lobby “are asking me to compromise” with the politically backed mafia. “I was doing my duty and the government must protect officers like us,” he said.
In a letter written on November 9, the Vigilance Bureau had specifically asked Patiala police and the Mining Department to check illegal mining alongside the Ghaggar.
The Shambhu SHO, when contacted, refuted allegations of beating up the mining officer. However, he fumbled for words when asked if he had booked the showroom owner where the illegally mined sand was dumped.
SSP S Bhupathi was non-committal on any action against his SHO. “We will look into it,” he said.