It is alleged that the truck drivers first hit Lachcho (from Shahkot Tehsil of Jalandhar district) with the leveller of their tractor, before crushing her to death.
The increasing sand mafia clout in the region came to light as her sonreveals how the drivers had visited their house twice to threaten their mother for raising voice against the illegal activities.
"For last few days, my mother had been fighting against their illegal mining activity. The driver of the tractor twice visited our house and abused her. He threatened my mother to kill her if she dared protested against their activity," the deceased's 27-year-old son Jagdish Singh said.
The police has lodged an FIR against the accused for negligent and rash driving on the road. Some of the other charges the drivers were booked for include Indian penal code sections of 452 (wrongful restraint and trespassing house with intention to hurt) and 148 and 149 (rioting).
However, they are yet to ascertain the murder angle. "We have registered a case on murder charges. We are trying to ascertain the reason of her death. Initial investigations have revealed there was a certain heated argument between the lady and tractor trolley drivers," Yurinder Singh Hayer, SSP, Jalandhar (rural) said.
In November 2012, the Punjab and Haryana governments had ordered banning of illegal sand and stone mining from the riverbeds of Satluj in the Shahkot and Nakodar areas of Jalandhar. Following this, the villagers in these areas have taken up cudgels against the miscreants. Earlier they had gheraoed 45 such mining trucks and had forced the police to impound the vehicles.
It was in the last year only when the trend of truck drivers carrying "paper slips" was also unveiled. This enabled the transportation of illegal materials across Punjab.