A young IPS officer was crushed to death by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, over 450 km from here, on Thursday. Narendra Kumar, 30, who was posted as a Sub-Divisional Police Officer at Banmore in Morena on probation, tried to stop a tractor carrying illegally quarried stones but the driver ran over him, DIG Chambal range D.P. Gupta was quoted in the press as saying. Mr. Kumar was rushed to hospital but died on the way. While he was a 2009 batch IPS officer, his wife is an Indian Administrative Service officer. She is also posted in Madhya Pradesh (Gwalior) but is on maternity leave currently. The driver, identified as Manoj Gurjar, has been arrested under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. State Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta along with DGP Nandan Dube rushed to Gwalior to take stock of the situation.
Mr. Kumar was posted to Morena recently and had started giving trouble to the powerful, politically-backed mining mafia in the region.
“The officer had received information about illegally mined stones being carried in a tractor. The officer reached the spot and asked the driver to stop the vehicle but he ran over him. The driver has been arrested and the matter will be inquired into,” the Home Minister told journalists at a press conference. As in several other districts, illegal mining is a thriving “industry” in Morena. According to sources, illegal mining of both sand and stone is carried out under protection of local politicians connected to Bhopal.
Accusing the ruling BJP government of protecting the mining mafia, which had led to the deteriorating law and order situation, Morena-based Congress worker Manoj Pal Singh said: “This young officer had taken the mining mafia head-on on several occasions but the illegal miners go about their business virtually fearless under the protection of the BJP.”
Mr. Singh has filed a petition against illegal mining in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. “Only last month, one of the mafia members — a former zilla panchayat president of Morena — attacked a mining officer. The police charged him under section 307 for attempted murder but he wasn't arrested. Some days later, a photograph in the district edition of a Hindi newspaper showed him sharing stage with the BJP M.P. from Morena,” he told The Hindu . “Most of the companies that have been awarded Reconnaissance Permits by the Madhya Pradesh mining department are front companies based in Kolkata with several BJP leaders as sleeping partners,” he alleged.