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Eight hurt as sand mafia clashes with officials

Written by: Staff

Morena, MP, July 6 (UNI) A city superintendent of police was among eight persons injured in a clash between sand mafia and the district administration during an attempt to halt illegal sand extraction today at Jaray village on the Chambal river's bank in this district.

''I received information that a large volume of sand was being extracted from Chambal Kethri Rajghat,'' Mr Bhagwat Singh, a Forest Department official posted in Bhopal, told UNI.

A flying squad led by the official reached here and halted a sand-laden truck near Jaray. At that juncture, villagers and the sand mafia surrounded the squad that was fired upon and stoned. The officials returned fire.

Superintendent of Police Yogesh Chaudhry rushed a sizeable force to the spot. Morena's CSP S S Chahal, Jaura Station House Officer R N Dubey, his Noorabad counterpart S N Dubey and two other police personnel were injured by stones while villagers Mohar Singh, Manoj Kushwah and Raghu Kushwah sustained gunshot wounds.

Mr Chaudhry told UNI that the villagers were injured not by police bullets but by those fired in self-defence by accompanying SAF personnel. All the victims were admitted to the district hospital here.

The officials returned here empty-handed.

''Today's roughly 150-strong task force included Sub-Divisional Officer Vijay Agrawal and myself,'' said Divisional Forest Officer K P Sharma.

Irate vilagers later blocked the Agra-Mumbai National Highway near Bandha village and senior officials again headed for the scene.

UNI XC-AC 2115

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