The constable blackmailed illicit sand miners

A policeman, allegedly involved in illicit sand mining, was arrested, remanded in judicial custody and subsequently placed under suspension on Thursday.

Following a tip-off, Pettai Police Inspector Vijayakumar and his team conducted a vehicle check near Thiruppanikarisalkulam on Wednesday evening.

The team seized a tractor, two tipper lorries and a motorcycle, and arrested S. Mahesh (20) and M.Marikumar (21), both hailing from Thiruppanikarisalkulam, for illegal sand quarrying.

Ganesa Bhoopathi, a police constable from C.N. Village near Tirunelveli Junction, who accompanied the sand-laden vehicles, was also arrested.

The three men were remanded in judicial custody.

Investigation revealed that the policeman routinely extorted money from illicit sand miners by threatening action against them on the basis of photographic evidence of their illegal activity in his possession.

The constable himself is said to have engaged in illicit sand quarrying.

Bhoopathi was caught by police while escorting a sand-laden lorry on Wednesday evening at Thiruppanikarisalkulam.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Tirunelveli Range, Sumit Sharan, who is in-charge of the Tirunelveli City Police Commissionerate, placed him under suspension.