Will continue my crusade against illegal mining: SDM Yunus

Himachal Pradesh IAS officer Yunus, the target of a murderous attack during a raid to check illegal mining, has said that his resolve to fight crime was stronger than ever.

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh IAS officer Yunus, the target of a murderous attack during a raid to check illegal mining, has said that his resolve to fight crime was stronger than ever after the incident, which was the third case of an attempt on his life.

"Not that I took the two earlier attempts on my life lightly, but this time, the intentions of the driver of the tractor-trailer were obvious," Yunus said, adding that he was not worried as he enjoyed the full support of the government.

Nalagarh Sub Divisional Magistrate Yunus was attacked on Wednesday when he had gone on a raid to the Sirsa river bed where a tractor-trailer driver hit his vehicle and tried to crush it by dumping its load on it.

A Nalagarh court has remanded Makhan Singh, the driver of the tractor, to five days custody with the police having registered a case of attempted murder against him.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has given his assurance that an inquiry would held into the incident.

Solan Deputy Commissioner Madan Chauhan said that the 2010 batch IAS officer, who happens to be a batchmate of UP IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal, was an honest and upright civil servant and the government was fully behind him.

Nagpal the SDM of Uttar Pradesh`s Gautam Budh Nagar district was recently suspended for ostensibly ordering the demolition of a mosque wall.

But Nagpal`s suspension has triggered off a row with the reason behind her suspension widely perceived as being the drive she launched against illegal sand mining in her area.

Yunus, who was posted in the area in January this year, said that the bid on his life came within two days of a statement issued by him stating there would be strict action against illegal sand and gravel mining in the area.

"Perhaps some people in the area have very high stakes (in the illegal mining)," he said.

Over the past six months, Yunus has fined and challaned hundreds of vehicles involved in illegal sand mining with the penalty collected amounting to nearly Rs 1 crore.

"We impounded vehicles and imposed fines and that helped check illegal mining to a great extent... But it is still continuing as big money is involved," he said.

The SDM said that different groups are engaged in illegal mining in the Nalagarh area of Solan district, which lies on the border between Punjab and Haryana.

PTI

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