Man Arrested For Supplying Illegal Weapons To Criminals In Delhi’s Dwarka


Police said 20 countrymade pistols along with 12 spare magazines were recovered. (Representational)

New Delhi: 

Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested a 24-year-old man in Dwarka for allegedly supplying illegal weapons to criminals, the officials said on Sunday.

The accused, identified as Mohammad Musa, is a resident of Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh, they said.

Musa was previously involved in three cases of attempt to murder, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Arms Act of Uttar Pradesh, the police said.

On January 19, police received information that Musa would come to deliver a big consignment of illegal firearms to a receiver in area of Pappankalan, Sector-2 in Dwarka, Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) said.

Subsequently, a trap was laid and at about 7 pm Musa was apprehended with two bags, he said.

Twenty sophisticated countrymade pistols along with 12 spare magazines were recovered from his possession, Mr Yadav added.

Interrogation revealed that Musa used to procure the weapons from arms dealer in Sandwa, Madhya Pradesh, the DCP said.

To avoid suspicion, Musa travelled by his car and sometimes preferred to commute by train to supply the weapons. He usually purchased the weapon for Rs 8,000 and sold it for Rs 25,000 to 30,000, he said.

Investigations also revealed that he was arrested by Saharanpur police in a gun supply case in 2017, he added.

In 2015, he joined hands with his distant relative, Arif who was a supplier of illegal arms. Since then, Musa has supplied more than 200 pistols to criminals of Meerut, Saharanpur and National Capital Region, Mr Yadav said.

On January 14, Musa along with his brother Soyab Khan, had come to Faridabad to supply arms to criminals, but his brother was arrested along with nine pistols, he said.

Musa had 15 pistols at that time. But he managed to escape from police while they arrested his brother, the police said.





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Illegal sand mining: Enforcement Directorate issued summons against IAS B Chandrakala including four


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Green Court Panel’s Field Visit Exposes Illegal Coal Mining In Meghalaya


Meghalaya mine: Rescuers have been pumping out water from the mine for safe diving operations

Guwahati: 

The Meghalaya government has founded itself in hot water after a three-member committee formed by the National Green Tribunal found that coal mining has been going on in the state despite a ban since 2014. The NGT has already told the Conrad Sangma government to pay Rs 100 crore for not effectively enforcing the ban on coal mining.

The three-member committee submitted their final report to the NGT last month, days after 15 miners disappeared inside a rat-hole mine in the state’s East Jaintia Hills. The miners are now feared dead.

The report not only mentioned that the coal mining lobby has been thriving, but the Meghalaya government was also aware of illegal coal mining in East Jaintia Hills.

“While I didn’t get the NGT order as yet and would not be able to comment on the order, but when we visited (the sites) with government officials, we saw coal mining going on. We went to East Jaintia Hills and noticed freshly mined coal,” Justice BP Katakey, who heads the three-member probe panel, told NDTV.

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Justice BP Katakey heads a three-member probe panel formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT)

“We asked for reports from the DCs (district collectors). The DC of East Jaintia Hills sent us a report in which he wrote that coal mining was going on illegally. In November again in a field visit we observed coal mining was going on,” said Justice Katakey, a retired judge of the Gauhati High Court.

“The DC of East Jaintia Hills had sent us the report on illegal mining months before the tragic mishap, so it’s obvious what was happening,” he said.

The three-member committee’s report comes at a time when the Supreme Court ordered the Sangma government to do everything it can to bring out the trapped miners “alive or dead”.

Activists say the powerful coal mafia is taking advantage of a concession the NGT made of allowing old coal already extracted before 2014 to be transported.

On Sunday, rescue operations entered the 25th day at the rat-hole mine as personnel of the NDRF, Odisha Fire Service, Coal India Ltd and Kirloskar Brothers Ltd continued to pump out water from the mine. The Kirloskar team installed submersible pumps at the main shaft where the miners are believed to be trapped.

Water level at a nearby shaft also receded as the OFS pumped out 10 lakh litres. Coal India’s pumps are also working at full capacity.

Navy and NDRF divers are waiting for the water level to fall to 100 feet from 160 feet for safe diving operations.

Mining was banned in mineral-rich Meghalaya in 2014 after people said it was polluting water bodies. But the practice continues with locals illegally extracting coal using dangerous “rat-hole” mines, which means digging into the side of hills and then burrowing horizontal tunnels to reach a coal seam.





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CBI raid on ias b chandrakala house in lucknow in illegal mining case


डीएम के खिलाए मौरंग खनन को लेकर हाईकोर्ट में एक याचिका दायर की गई थी. इस केस तहत सीबीआई ने कानपुर, जालौन, हमीरपुर और दिल्ली के कई ठिकानों पर छापेमारी की है. 

खनन घोटाले मामले में IAS बी चंद्रकला के घर CBI का छापे, कई दस्तावेज जब्त

IAS बी.चन्द्रकला का फाइल फोटो.





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Meghalaya Mine Rescue: With No Blueprints Of Illegal Mine, Rescue Operation Difficult: Centre To Supreme Court


The rat-hole mine was flooded when water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it, trapping 15 miners.

New Delhi: 

The centre Friday told the Supreme Court that they were facing difficulties in the operation to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya since December 13 as there was no blueprint of the 355-feet well.

The government told the top court that the illegal mine was located near a river and seepage of water was hindering the rescue operation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the centre, informed a bench of justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer about the steps taken for a swift rescue operation.

The bench directed the centre and other authorities to file a status report on the steps taken and progress made in the rescue operation on January 7.

The top court on Thursday had expressed dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Meghalaya government to rescue 15 miners trapped in the illegal coal mine and had said “prompt, immediate and effective” operation was needed to rescue them as it was a matter of life and death.

It had asked the Solicitor General to apprise it by Friday the steps which the government intends to take in the matter.

The rat-hole mine, atop a hillock fully covered with trees in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, was flooded when water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it, trapping 15 miners.

Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually three-four feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed “rat holes” as each just about fits one person.

The Solicitor General had told the bench that several members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were working at the site and instead of the Army, the government has sent Navy personnel there as the mine was submerged in water.

“72 members of NDRF are already there but still no result,” the bench had observed, adding, “Why cannot you take help of the Army? He (petitioner) says that water pumps were sent to Thailand. Why cannot it (pumps) be used here also?”.

The petitioner, Aditya N Prasad, has said in his plea that Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) had offered high-powered water pumps and given technical support to the Royal Thai government in June-July 2018 for the operation to rescue a football team trapped inside a cave system in Thailand.

KBL had then offered to provide four specialised high capacity Autoprime dewatering pumps, which were kept ready at Kirloskarvadi plant in Maharashtra to be airlifted to Thailand.

Mr Mehta had maintained that the petition seeking urgent steps for rescue of these 15 persons was not adversarial.

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The coal mine is atop a hillock fully covered with trees in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district.

The counsel appearing for the state had said adequate steps have been taken and besides 72 NDRF personnel, members of state disaster response force, the Navy, fire department and Coal India Ltd were also involved in the rescue operations.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for petitioner Aditya N Prasad, had told the bench that an adjoining mine was connected with river and the authorities were using only 25 horsepower pumps to flush out the water.

The plea has also sought a direction to the centre and other authorities concerned to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for rescue operations in “mines and other similar conditions”.

It has sought directions to the centre and the state to utilise the services of the technical wing of the Indian Armed Forces — the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — in the operation immediately to rescue the 15 miners.

Family members of at least seven trapped miners had already given up hope to rescue them alive and requested the government to retrieve the bodies for last rites.





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Donald Trump Speaks With Wife Of Indian-Origin Cop Ronil Singh Killed By Illegal Immigrant


Corporal Ronil Singh was a native of Fiji and joined the force in July 2011.

Washington: 

President Donald Trump Thursday spoke with the widow and colleagues of Indian-origin police officer Ronil “Ron” Singh who was shot dead allegedly by an illegal immigrant last week in the US state of California.

Corporal Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed at a traffic stop on December 26 by an illegal immigrant named Gustavo Perez Arriaga when he was planning to flee to his native Mexico.

“This afternoon, President Trump spoke with the family and law enforcement colleagues of fallen Newman, California, police officer Ronald “Ron” Singh,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Corporal Singh was a native of Fiji and joined the force in July 2011.

“The President praised officer Singh’s service to his fellow citizens, offered condolences, and commended law enforcement’s rapid investigation, response, and apprehension of the suspect,” Sanders said.

“Included in the President’s calls were Corporal Singh’s wife, Amanika ‘Mika’ Chand-Singh; Newman, California Police Chief Randy Richardson, and Sheriff Adam Christianson of Stanislaus County, California,” she said.

The Californian police has arrested the suspect last week from a home in the Kern County.

He came to the US illegally and was believed to have been fleeing to Mexico when he shot the police officer. He was arrested twice previously for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and has known gang affiliation.





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In Meghalaya East Jaintia Hills Where Mine Collapsed, Illegal Coal Trade Continues


Meghalaya mine: The Navy, NDRF and Odisha Fire Service are involved in rescue operations

Guwahati: 

Some villagers at East Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya have been visiting a rat-hole mine every day for over three weeks after 15 men disappeared when water flooded the illegal mine in the district on December 13. Three men among the group of migrant workers trapped in the mine’s dark labyrinth are from their village.

The villagers say they are worried about the men as well as the attention this incident has drawn. For thousands of villagers in these parts, illegal rat-hole mining that involves digging into the side of hills and then burrowing tunnels to reach a coal seam is the only source of income.

“We have been mining coal for three decades. We have only done this. This is the only source of income and with no options, we didn’t care about environment laws or death,” said a middle-aged miner who came to see the progress of the rescue operation at the mine. “Many such incidents have happened in the past. Miners got buried and became skeletons,” he told NDTV, asking not to be named.

The “mining mafia” is quite strong in East Jaintia Hills, he said.

On day 19, a joint search and rescue operation involving the Navy, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Coal India Ltd and the Odisha Fire Service is running against time in looking for survivors, amid concerns that foul smell inside the mine reported by NDRF divers last week could be of decomposed bodies.

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The NGT banned coal mining in Meghalaya in 2014

The incident also raises serious questions about unchecked coal mining in Meghalaya right under the government’s nose even after the National Green Tribunal banned it in 2014, environment activists and scientists say.

Freshly cut blocks of coal being carried on the back of open trucks are often seen running on the state’s highways.

NDTV found that some freshly cut coal stocks were being loaded onto trucks from a new rat-hole mine in the same district where the rescue operations are going on. Across East Jaintia Hills, cranes and freshly mined coal left behind by miners are a common sight. The area is dotted with palatial bungalows of local coal barons.

Activists say the powerful coal mafia is taking advantage of a concession the NGT made of allowing old coal already extracted before 2014 to be transported.

“In 2014, the coal lobby and the state government appealed to the NGT that they should be allowed to transport 600 tonnes of already extracted coal. These are freshly cut coal,” said Hasina Kharbhih, an environment activist from state capital Shillong whose non-profit Impulse NGO Network first petitioned the NGT against rat-hole mining.

Meghalaya has an estimated 5,000 illegal rat-hole mines, mostly in East Jaintia hills. After coal mining was banned in 2014, there was a slowdown in economic activities by 70 per cent.

With few migrant labourers left in the area, traders say their businesses have been hit as well. “What would migrants do? They have to live, so they go for illegal mining, get some money,” said Manoj Kumar Mishra, a Bihar resident who has been selling cloth at Khleriat, the headquarters of East Jaintia Hills, since 1995. He said coal mining was rampant between 2002 and 2014.

The Meghalaya government has admitted it failed to check illegal coal mining despite the NGT’s ban.

“We admit illegal mining was going on and it’s not a correct thing and appropriate action with be taken in right time,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told NDTV on December 14, a day after the rat-hole mine was flooded and the miners disappeared.





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In Meghalaya, Illegal Mining Of Coal Has Political Support, Claims Report


Fifteen miners continue to be trapped inside a flooded 320-feet coal mine which collapsed 16 days ago.

Shillong: 

In the last few weeks, the rat hole mine incident in Meghalaya, the northeastern state known for its scenic beauty, its matriarchal society, has exposed the illegal mining of coal rampant here despite a carpet ban since 2014. Fifteen miners continue to be trapped inside a flooded 320-feet coal mine which collapsed 16 days ago. But almost all political parties in Meghalaya want the ban to go.

This week in the parliament, Vincent Pala, Congress MP from Meghalaya, raised concerns about the rat hole mine tragedy in East Jaintia hills, the coal capital of Meghalaya. However, he is among the top coal barons of the state, according to a Citizens’ Report prepared by civil society groups in Meghalaya.

The report, which has been submitted to the Supreme Court, names top politicians in the state claiming their involvement in the illegal coal trade.

In the last assembly election, the Congress didn’t do well in the Jaintia hill region. Their dismal performance was attributed by many to the fact that the party couldn’t challenge the coal mining ban in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and later in Supreme Court “aggressively”.

In fact, during the assembly elections this year, the Congress was seen by the powerful coal lobby as ‘anti-mining’, although it has many top leaders who have ‘keen interest’ in coal trade which is largely unregulated, sources said.

About 30 per cent of the 374 candidates who contested the elections were either owners of mines or have stakes in the coal mining and transportation industry, the report claimed.

Coal mining was a key poll issue for the opposition which used it to turn the table on Congress. During poll campaign in Jaintia hills region, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and his partymen were extremely vocal about the coal mining ban and how it was affecting the livelihood of many.

The BJP also promised it would solve the problem of illegal mining within 180 days. The party is part of the coalition government led by Conrad Sangma.

Ironically, it was Conrad’s father, PA Sangma, who along with former chief minister BB Lyndoh tried to regulate coal mining in the state but drew flak and had to step back.

The chief minister’s family does not have any ‘direct’ links to the coal trade, but many of his ministers and top leaders of his National People’s Party (NPP) do, said the report.

Nidamon Chullet, the prime accused in the attack on Meghalaya rights activist Agnes Kharshiing and her aide last month, is known in the area as a coal lobbyist. Mr Chullet is a senior leader of the ruling NPP from Jaintia hills.

Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma were attacked by a group of 40 people – allegedly led by Mr Chullet – in the East Jaintia Hills district after they complained to the local police about illegal mining and transportation of coal, police said.

The list also names Vincent Pala, four ministers in the Conrad Sangma’s government and seven non-NPP legislators who are either coal barons or their families have business interests in coal mining.

The most prominent among them are Kyrmen Shylla, the MLA from Khliehriat, the headquarters of the East Jaintia hills district and a key cabinet minister and in charge of disaster management department.

Lakmen Rymbui, another minister and in charge of the environment and forest portfolio, is another big name.

Comingone Ymbon, PWD minister, has several coal mines, the list said.

Commerce and Industries and Transport minister Sniawbhalang Dhar and his family are also involved in the business, the report stated.





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Three Trucks With Explosives Seized In Illegal Firecracker Factory In Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar


None of the accused have been arrested so far, a police official said. (Representational)

Noida: 

A fire cracker factory operating illegally in Badalpur area of Gautam Buddh Nagar was busted on Saturday following a raid, the officials said.

Three-truck loads of firecrackers and explosive material was seized from the factory located in the fields outside a village, a senior official said.

“The illegal factory was set up in a godown in the fields outside Kudi Kheda village, under Badalpur police station limits. Three trucks filled with crackers and related material were impounded from the scene,” City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra, who led the raid, said.

“The material seized is estimated worth Rs 50 lakh,” Mr Mishra said.

A case was being registered against three persons including the owners of the land Anil Sharma and Raju Pandit, he said.

None of the accused have been arrested so far, a police official said, adding the raid was carried out Saturday evening.

“The accused are being booked under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908,” the official said.

District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh had earlier this week announced ban on the use of firecrackers during Christmas and New Year celebrations, in keeping with the Supreme Court guidelines of containing air pollution.

He had asked all departments concerned and the police to ensure the implementation of the ban, noting that “green firecrackers”, which were exempted from the ban, were not available in the markets.

“We have not been informed of the reduced emission (improved crackers and green crackers) firecrackers by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), so it is clear to us that green firecrackers are not available in the district,” Mr Singh had stated in his letter to police station house officers (SHOs).

For more Cities news, click here





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Risky But We Need Money, Say Those Working In Meghalaya’s Illegal Mines


The lone eyewitness, Sayeb Ali, says 17 people, including him, had entered the mine that morning.

Shillong: 

Even as search and rescue operations continue over a week after 15-odd coal miners were trapped in Ksan area of East Jaintia hills district of Meghalaya as water from multiple channels entered the mine, villagers in lower Assam’s Chirang district feel sad and helpless.

A lot of them work as migrant labourers in the illegal rat holes coal mines of Meghalaya and say that even after the horrific accident, they will work in the coal mines because they don’t have any other option.

“We know it’s very risky, but we need money,” said Sayeb Ali, the lone survivor of the tragedy.

Another miner from the village, who worked in an illegal mine in Garo hills of Meghalaya, claimed that working in rat hole mines is dangerous, but it brings good money.

“We are uneducated, unskilled and poor. If we take up daily wage jobs in Guwahati, we don’t earn more than Rs 300 a day, but in rat hole mines, the pay starts at Rs 1,000 and goes up to Rs 2,000 per day. To make sure that our kids have a better life, we take this huge risk,” said Abdul Hussain.

The Meghalaya police are aware of illegal mining as well as transportation of coal, but the coal lobby has huge influence over police and politicians, said a miner, who works in a rat hole mine in Sutunga area.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government sources say it has names of 15 miners, but there should be around 17 of them. The lone eyewitness, Sayeb Ali, says 17 people, including him, had entered the mine that morning.

Meghalaya government had sought help of the Army, but the army said it does not have the expertise to pump out water from a 35-foot-long mine, sources said.

A huge volume of water has gushed in through a breach and the river nearby is also on a higher gradient, so water from the river will keep flowing into the mines. Government sources claim that it will take over a month to pump out water this way since all the rat hole mines in the area are interconnected.

Mining experts have been brought in to work out a new plan.

But the sources add that they are now almost certain that under such situation chances of survival are slim.





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