Puducherry: The Puducherry District Collector Sathyendra Singh Dirsawat on Friday suspended deputy tahsildar Ramachandran on complaints against him of links with the sand mafia. The action was initiated after a video clipping in which Mr Ramachandran was seen arguing with the public in support of sand thieves and allowing the lorries to pass to Tamil Nadu went viral.
PWD staff had stopped the illegal sand-laden lorries but the deputy tahsildar gave permission for the lorries to pass through. The video was brought to the notice of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. The bike of a PWD official was also set on fire by the sand mining mafia allegedly following directions from Mr Ramachandran.
As the Lt Governor received a complaint on the connection between the sand mafia and the government official, Ms Bedi immediately intervened and ordered an enquiry.
“This is arrogance of extreme order where govt officials are openly allowing illegal sand mining. He should be removed from service forever and FIR should be filed against him as a deterrent to other corrupt officials”, the Lt Governor said in a WhatsApp message. Following this, the district collector suspended the official and ordered a departmental enquiry.
The Lt Governor said an FIR will be registered against the official and investigation will be taken up by the CID Superintendent of Police under the supervision of DGP SK Goutham. The Lt Governor also asked the Collector to consider clamping prohibitory order under section 144 CrPc to ban any illegal sand quarrying activities. Any violation could mean action under section 188 of CRPC and arrest, she said.
On the other hand, the Sand Mining Squad in Puducherry on Friday seized 24 units of illegally dumped river sand at Ariyapalayam village here. A press statement issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity, Puducherry said that the raid was conducted by the Sand Mining Squad headed by Nithianandan, Deputy Tahsildar, under the instructions of N. Udayakumar, Deputy Collector (Revenue south), at the Sankarabarani riverbank of Ariyapalayam village and seized sand was disposed of through Pondicherry Building Centre....