I had heard a lot about mafia, in fact a lot of them in UT Jammu and Kashmir. Beginning with lands, drugs, transport, sand, medical and the number is countless! In district Poonch everything happens!
-‘By the way this one is strictly regarding the sand mafia! The game had to begin somewhere and it begins now and no need to tell us how it becomes. In focus here are the commission earners beginning from sand extractors, the middle men who have to sell off the stuff (basically sand, mud. Pebbles (Bajri) and boulders (could be stones). I think this is best suited and applied on the sand mafia operating in district Poonch, when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. It is as simple as that, they pay to survive and the government watches them as if blind. On ground officers in UT J&K are all dissolved in corruption as sugar in tea. Money opens their brain nerves and they do outrageous things and sand is the most paying (Balua in UP and Biaar mafiah hai hum). District Poonch and it’s rivers are going to see this happening if things continue this way. But they are if you have a look at the picture!’
-, ‘If an honest Police officer stand in front of any of the criminals mentioned above the first answer he is going to get is, ‘If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter! Trust me this happens. The Mafia does not survive if the Police get after criminals. Class of 83 Mumbai Police is still to be matched when cops talk with guns, ‘I mean honest cops’!
It is the local muscle. There are many of them. Thick-armed, hooded-eyed men who have parked their vehicles at the road head and let the tractors move in to carry on with sand steal carnage. The feet above the river bank quakes from the passage of tractors and soon it is going to be trucks.
What do these columns of vehicles carry? A torrent of mined sand: the dredged-up riverbeds of the riveres, rivulets and streamlets and its tributaries in destitute
Sand is a lucrative commodity in India. It fuels a black market that is both preyed on and protected by goons. Sand miners have killed law enforcement officers who have attempted to halt the strip-mining of India’s rivers. They have murdered reporters who have exposed the forbidden practice of excavating waterways. Agarwal and I exchange glances. This has happened in India, is this going to be repeated in district Poonch?
The answer is yes? Because there is no tactical fault as far as the administration goes but there is a technical one with the officials in the department that concerns mining. The stupid masters of the subject of Geology and mining must have learnt that sand and minerals pay a lot. That is why they are destroying the future of other children and getting their own to ride the white stallions into the future.
This department is putting many lives in danger and human experts are no match for mother nature’s fury! Kishtwar is an example where none of the missing was found? Why it happened, Geological and Mining department and haggard experts sitting there know the best! But they know nothing. Floods every season prove it time and again!
If the bulk of the public were really convinced of the illegitimacy of the State, if it were convinced that the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large. That is what the people of district Poonch think and the sand mining mafia also thinks that way! Obviously a bad idea but who cares?
I will start this one with a blood curdling episode as to what the sand mafia can do. Incidentally they can kill if they desire to do so and incidents are many and this one is from the year 2020 and the place has to be Uttar Pradesh.
‘When Sonu Kumar Chaudhary, a young police constable from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, was chasing a sand-laden tractor-trolley on his motorcycle, he was run over by the vehicle, allegedly engaged by the local mafia for transporting illegally-mined sand. The very same day, 26-year-old G Moses, a television journalist in Tamil Nadu, probing illegal sand mining, was hacked to death. Chaudhary and Moses are just two of the many victims of the sand mafia, an unholy nexus of contractors, politicians, trade union leaders, panchayat (local officials) and revenue officials, and corrupt policemen. Illegal sand mining, extraction of sand from riverbeds, lakes and reservoirs and agricultural fields is taking a toll on both the environment and human lives.’
This sand is often used in manufacturing and construction activities. Be it local officials, activists or journalists, anyone trying to expose illegal mining activities is manhandled, threatened or even murdered. Sometimes their families are kept under unlawful detention. Illegal sand mining on either direction of rivers upstream and in-stream is one of the causes for environmental degradation. It is also a threat to biodiversity. Over the years, India’s rivers and riparian ecology have been badly affected by the alarming rate of unrestricted sand mining. Now the entire game has shifted to District Poonch as you can see in the pictures, tractors and trolleys lined up on a meandering river but no one to check! Why to do so must be the call of the administration that comes into focus only when nature’s ambiguities strike’! Yes they also do raise their voice. They give the officials and the journalists money also and they will also shed tears forcing you to believe that they are true! Wrong! They are masters at that. They will say, we have documents to prove it. It’s not fair. We want to go to the media. In UT Jammu and Kashmir, everyone owns a grievance even the sand mafia!
Sand might seem a strange contraband to most of the world. The lowly resource is little more than ground-up rocks, tiny grains of silica and quartz washed down rivers from eroding mountaintops. Illegally mined sand does not conjure the dark romance of, say, blood diamonds, or the pathos of trafficked wildlife. Moreover, there appears to be an infinite supply of the stuff. Only there isn’t. See the picture on one of the river beds in Mandi of District Poonch as to how blatantly the process is carrying on and there is no one to check. In other words, destruction of the environment!
Our modern civilization is built on sand: concrete, paved roads, ceramics, metallurgy, petroleum fracking (Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is more commonly known, is just one small method of the broader process of unconventional development of oil and natural gas. Fracking is a proven drilling technology used for extracting oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, or water from deep underground) even the glass on smart phones all require the humble substance. River sand is best: grains of desert sand are often too rounded to serve as industrial binding agents, and marine sand is corrosive. A United Nations study calculates, however, that humankind’s total consumption of sand is more than 40 billion tons a year and is now double the amount of sediments being replenished naturally on the Earth by the sum of the world’s rivers. You can well imagine where we are heading towards. Disaster would still be a small word but in the district Poonch no one is aware of that but they are aware as to how much a trolley costs. In the administration the scenario is just carry on boys because money is fun if earned by dubious means!
I will stress that we should not destroy nature’s gift to mankind. Stripping rivers of their sand causes water tables to drop an ominous concern in India, where millions already face historic water shortages. In District Poonch it is a problem that has been carrying on and it will. Massive sand mining also has eroded river deltas, exposing communities staying on banks to severe land loss, and worsening the effects of climate change-induced water level rise. This is bound to happen if we do not stop the mafia.
By now the administration should have acted and why should they? Illegal mining is still going on in various areas of Tehsil Mandi. Administration has totally failed to get hold of the mafia was the report I got and it was very true to the hilt because there is no check on the same! The report was filed by the locals who face the wrath when nature is in an avenging mood. Administration is always caught at that time sleeping and dreaming! This is a reality and Kishtwar is an example, just get back to the stream in Honzar!