BHOPAL: After allegedly killing a 60-year-old deputy ranger in Morena, the sand mafia in Madhya Pradesh – ferrying illegal mined stones in Gwalior – allegedly shot at two forest guards on Wednesday evening.
The victims, identified as Harivallabh Chaturvedi and Harishchandra Chouhan, have been admitted to a private hospital in Gwalior and are in a critical condition, according to reports. Chouhan had joined the state forest department after retiring from the Army.
The police have registered a complaint under relevant sections of the IPC, and have launched an investigation. Gwalior SP Navneet Bhasin said teams had been dispatched to arrest the shooters.
The forest department had impounded two tractor trolleys loaded with illegally mined stones from Jikhrikho in Ghatigaon under Tighri police station area in the afternoon. When they were taking these trolleys to their office in the evening, they were ambushed and fired upon from hillocks and ravines, said sources.
Earlier this week, a 60-year-old deputy ranger of the forest department, Subedar Singh Kushwaha, was crushed to death by a tractor ferrying illegally mined sand in Morena. The police registered a murder case, which makes this the fifth incident of killing of government officials and cops by the sand mafia in recent days. On the direction of state government, the forest department has declared Kushwaha a ‘martyr’, and has given Rs 1 crore, besides Rs 10 lakh from the department, to his family.
After the death of Kushwaha, the state government has launched a crackdown on the sand mafias and has seized 50 tractors trolleys loaded with illegally mined sand in Sehore district.