Government Chief Whip P.C. George has alleged that the on-going police investigation into the smuggling of mineral rich sand from the coastal belt of Kollam and Alappuzha districts into Tamil Nadu is nothing but a cosmetic exercise.

At a press conference here on Friday, he said that since two districts are involved in the incident, a probe by a high-level police team is required to bring out the truth. He alleged that a section of bureaucrats and politicians from both States are behind the racket.

He said the smuggled sand should have brought an annual revenue of Rs.20,000 crore to the State exchequer. The bulk of the smuggled sand reaches a private company at Tuticorin. Some people from Kerala are associated with the Tuticorin company.

Mr. George said he has submitted a petition to Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty raising the demand. Answering a question Mr. George said that there is no need for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the racket.

He demanded that police check-posts be put up all along the mineral sand belt. One of the activities that has triggered the smuggling is the move to get mining privatised. Many corporate houses in other States are interested in mining mineral sand from here. The recent announcement by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that a mineral plant will be established in that State should be seen in this context, he added.

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