LUDHIANA: In a sensational revelation, Directorate of Enforcement’s (ED) preliminary investigation in the raids conducted on several stone crushers in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab has revealed that Rs. 35 crore worth of illegal mining was done by the accused in the areas of Una Himachal Pradesh and Ropar Punjab.
Notably since Monday, Chandigarh based zonal office of ED had been conducting raids in Una, Nangal, Ropar, Jalandhar, Mohali, Panchkula in connection with illegal mining by stone crushers in the river Swan between Haroli of Himachal Pradesh and Nangal of Punjab. The raids concluded on Friday evening but ED sleuths are still doing physical survey of the areas where illegal mining was done by the accused.
Meanwhile according to a statement issued by the agency “ED has conducted searches at the premises of M/s. Lakhwinder Singh Stone Crushers , Manav Khanna , Neeraj Prabhakar, Vishal alias Vicky and Others at Una, Mohali, Panchkula and other places in connection with illegal mining in Una district of Himachal Pradesh. ED initiated Money-laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered at PS Sadar, Una in 2021 by the Himachal Police against illegal mining at Swan River in Una District of Himachal Pradesh. ED investigation has revealed that rampant illegal mining was being carried out at locations in Una District of H.P. The illegal mining included illegal mining of sand from river bed as well as stone mining from quarries”
Statement also said, “The modus operandi adopted by the persons includes excavation of sand and gravel beyond leased mining area, overshooting prescribed depth of mining thus causing excess mining. Searches also revealed that illegal mining was also being conducted beyond the leased area. The excess illegally mined sand, gravel and stone/ boulder were being transported suspiciously without payment of requisite royalty/ taxes to the state government.
Further, massive environment damage was also being caused due to non-adherence of Environmental norms. A joint survey of these mines is being carried out to physically ascertain extent of damage caused & quantum of illegal mining. ED search has also resulted in seizure of various incriminating documents, digital devices, property documents and unaccounted cash of Rs. 15.37 lakh.
Analysis of certain documents recovered from the searched locations revealed parallel sets of documents being maintained having details of actual mining for a short period of time. Preliminary analysis of the documents shows that about Rs. 35 Crore worth illegal mining has been done by the persons involved”