Mumbai: While bringing members of the sand mafia to book for illegal mining activities is not unusual, the state government has arrested 56 donkeys from Chandrabhaga river in Pandharpur because they were carrying sand bags. This came to light when revenue minister Eknath Khadse admitted to the arrests in the Legislative Assembly last week while answering a discussion on illegal sand mining in Pandharpur’s Chandrabhaga river.
There was a serious debate on the illegal sand mining, which took a hilarious turn when the state brought up the arrests. The House witnessed an outburst of laughter as the minister explained how the government was taking care of the donkeys that were “caught” for illegal mining.
“We have taken action against the sand mafia and have also arrested 56 donkeys carrying sand bags. We have sent them to a government shelter home,” Mr Khadse informed the Assembly.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity to create more mirth in the House, NCP MLA Dilip Sopal asked the government to take care of the donkeys. “The donkeys do not know whether they were carrying sand or gold. The government should not ignore their health, and good facilities should be provided to them,” Mr Sopal said in a jovial manner, which resulted in enormous belly laughs among the House
members. The minister also replied to the MLA, saying adequate facilities were being given to them. “We have instructed that the donkeys be taken care off so that they are not troubled. In fact, we are trying to reach their owners, even if no one has come forward. We aren’t saying their owners are here in the House,” Khadse added....