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Khurda Sadar PS IIC, Tehsildar Depose Before Odisha STF, Refute Mining Mafia Link Allegations

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17 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: Responding to the summons sent by the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch (CB), Khurda Sadar Police Station (PS) IIC Bikram Jena and Tehsildar Subhendra Samal today deposed before the Investigating Officer (IO) dealing with the illegal mining activities there.

In his media reactions, the Khurda Sadar PS IIC said, “The STF IO Sir had served notice to appear before him. Whatever to be enquired, I’ll place all the data. Several actions have been taken against the illegal mining activities from our side. We had no information about the mining lease, whether legal or illegal. But, whenever the concerned authorities seek our police assistance, we fully cooperate in their operations. Our police have reached the spot even after getting a telephone call.”

“Today I’ll depose in details about the lease. Lease is given by the temple administration. Where ever there is illegal mining, the concerned authorities seek police assistance and conduct raids. In most of the times, lots of machinery, trucks have been seized, criminals arrested and court-forwarded.”

Replying to a media query, the Khurda Sadar PS IIC coolly commented, “It’s premature to say that I have been dragged into the matter to tarnish my image.”

In his media reactions, Khurda Tehsildar Subhendra Samal said, “I’m ignorant of the reason behind I being noticed. After I depose, it could be ascertained. Enquiry can unravel whether we are responsible or not for such illegal mining.”

He defended, “We are always taking steps and actions to check illegal mining activities. We are seizing and conducting raids. The house that Chhota (STF arrested kingpin) had built was served notice by us in January. STF’s entry is later on.”

On being queried if he has ever encouraged the mining mafia, his answer was categorically ‘no’.

Informing about the actions taken, he stated, “Minimum 200 vehicles have been seized, even two proclains, which is very difficult to lift and transport, have been seized by me. One proclaim was released by the court while another is still under our custody.”

When being further prodded if the mining mafia had ever gratified them, his reply was once again categorically ‘no’.

“We are regulators. It is not so easy on our part to control the criminal activities. Whatever steps we have taken despite that, we’ll reveal before the STF today. I am ignorant of the alleged political links in it,” the Khurda Tehsildar asserted.

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Bikram Jena, IIC, Sadar PS, Khurda, Odisha

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Subhendra Samal, Tehsildar, Khurda, Odisha