The sand smuggling mafia made an attempt on the life of a Village Administrative Officer and a Revenue Inspector in two different incidents at Kandrakottai near here in the early hours on Friday.

While a lorry driver made an attempt to run over Village Administrator Officer Jothimani, a person abducted Revenue Inspector Bhoopalachandran in a lorry with an intention to knock him down.

Both officials, who had a narrow escape, lodged complaints with the Panruti police, following which the police arrested the first lorry driver Kumaran (29) on the charges of “attempted murder” and invoked the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act and seized the vehicle. Efforts are on to trace another driver and the runaway lorry.

The officials who had mounted a night-long vigil against smuggling of sand from the Pennaiyar riverbed at Kandrakottai became the target of attack. Police sources said while the VAO was carrying out a vehicle check a speeding lorry tried to run over him but he managed to escape. On his complaint, the police nabbed Kumaran and impounded the lorry.

Two hours later, the RI saw a lorry smuggling sand and when he signalled to the vehicle to stop, the driver halted the vehicle but fled the scene. The RI engaged a private driver with a view to hand over the seized vehicle to the Panruti police. However, on the way a car blocked the lorry at the Panruti railway crossing. Soon, one of the occupants of the car climbed on to the lorry and kicked the driver out. The RI jumped out of the lorry. Later, the Collector told reporters that stringent action would be taken against those indulged in sand smuggling. He further said that block-level committees had been formed to keep a watch on sand mining and if any infringements were noticed severe action would be taken against the violators.

Keywords: murder attempt

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