FIR against DMO Kulgam, goons for extortion

Mining officials accompanied by robbers loot truckers

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Feb 14: Police in Awantipora today registered a case against District Minerals Officer (DMO), Kulgam and few private persons allegedly hired by some Mining contractors for extortion even as such cases are rampant in South Kashmir.
The case (FIR No. 21/2021 U/S 393, 341 and 506 IPC dated 13-02-2021) was registered in Police Station Awantipora in district Pulwama on a complaint lodged by Hilal Ahmad Reshi son of Ghulam Mohammad Reshi of Letpora.
Reshi in his complaint alleged that the driver of his Dumper was robbed by District Minerals Officer Kulgam, Dr Khursheed Ahmad, and some private persons during the night intervening February 12 and 13 at Letpora in Pulwama district.
Reshi in his complaint said that his Dumper bearing registration number JK13B 7892 driven by Arif Bhat son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Letpora in Awantipora in district Pulwama was stopped by the officer at Letpora in Awantipora during the intervening night of February 12 and 13.
“These persons stopped few more vehicles including one more dumper bearing registration number JKO3F- 8885”, he writes in the compliant.
Reshi stated that they beat up driver of his Dumper and one more driver Fayaz Ahmed Reshi of another vehicle. “They forcefully took away Rs 33, 000 cash and made him to transfer Rs 12, 000 to the account number 0200040100220195 belonging to one Amir Khan”, he stated.
“The two drivers were taken to a vehicle where they were beaten up by goons inside the vehicle and they were threatened of dire consequences”, read the complaint.
An official said that those involved in the case besides Dr Khursheed are Jamal Saif, Amir Khan and Ravi Gotam. The others who were with the officer for carrying out nocturnal extortion are being identified.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that investigations are on and these persons will be arrested soon.
The DMO Kulgam told Excelsior that he has no knowledge about the case registered against him.
Meanwhile, police tonight raided the office cum residence of one of the Mining Company at Bagat Srinagar but they had fled 15 minutes ago in a Bolero vehicle.
Sources said that it is a big mafia in South Kashmir where the Tipper and Dumper drivers are being looted by the officials and some goons who work for illegal mining mafia. These private persons had got mining lease in South Kashmir three years back and have managed extension of the lease but so far they have no allotment.
They said that mafia have hired goons who along with the Mineral Officers in South Kashmir are looting the truckers for carrying minerals during the night.
They said that as these truckers have to pay huge amounts of money to the mafia with the result the rates of minerals like sand, gravel and boulders have skyrocketed. They said that the administration is unmoved and are turning a blind eye towards rising prices of minerals.
They said that the rate of sand is Rs 10, 000 to Rs 13, 000 per 150 feet in Srinagar, the gravel between Rs 8000 to Rs 10, 000 when the rate of these two minerals was between Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 in 2018-19.