Tamil Nadu

Illicit sand miners brutally murder police constable near Nanguneri

Relatives of the slain policeman Jegadish Durai stage road roko near Collector’s bungalow in Palayamkottai on Monday.   | Photo Credit: A. Shaikmohideen

A Special Branch constable was brutally murdered by illicit sand miners near Nanguneri in the district in the early hours of Monday after he tried to arrest them for illegally lifting sand from the Nambiyar riverbed.

Police said S. Jegadish Durai (33), of Chinthamani near Moolaikkaraipatti under Nanguneri sub-division, on getting alert from his informers about illicit sand mining at Pondicherry, a small hamlet on Nambiyar riverbed in the early hours of Monday, went to the spot on his two-wheeler. When the illicit sand miners tried to escape with the quarried sand in the tractor, Durai chased them for about a kilometre.

After the axle of the tractor cut-off and the sand-laden vehicle came to a halt, the police constable asked the trio to surrender. However, they attacked him with iron rods and a crowbar. Durai died on the spot as he sustained grievous head injuries, according to police.

The matter came to light only in the morning after efforts to contact Durai over the phone went in vain. As the police searched for him, they found his body lying in a secluded area near Puducherry.

Two of three suspects detained

Superintendent of Police P Ve Arunshakthikumar, who visited the spot, said, two of the three culprits have already been detained. Muruga Perumal and Krishnan, from Kakkan Nagar under Vijayanarayanam police station limits, have been picked up for allegedly murdering the police constable. The police also picked-up for tractor owner Subramanian and Murugan’s father Madasamy for inquiry.

Mr. Arunshakthikumar also said five special police have been dispatched to arrest the duo’s associate Murugan of the same area, who was allegedly heading the sand mafia in this region for the past several years.

Illegal mining rampant in Nambiyar river bed

Rampant sand mining along Nambiyar river bed came to a halt in 2003 after the then MLA of Radhapuram M. Appavu approached the Madras High Court. “Following the legal impediment, the police allow sand mining in the areas under Valliyoor, Thisaiyanvilai, Vijayanarayanam and Koodankulam police station limits. Now, an upright constable has been hunted down by the illicit sand miners, who have already murdered a few more in this region for resisting illegal sand quarrying,” Mr. Appavu alleged.

According to him, Dhas of Kannanallur in 2000, Kumar of Mittadharkulam in 2012, Chellappa of Karunkulam in 2017 and Viyagappan of Perunkulam in April 2018 had been run over by vehicles and cases of accidents were subsequently registered to bury those “murders”.

Meanwhile, around 100 relatives of Jegadish Durai staged road roko near the Collector’s Bungalow at 12.30 p.m. demanding immediate arrest of the illicit sand miners who murdered the constable.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 7:18:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/illicit-sand-miners-brutally-murder-police-constable-near-nanguneri/article23802916.ece

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