By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, February 10: Environmental issues like maintaining ecological balance, sustaible development etc., find their places only in rule books in Assam as the civil administration, police personnel, forest officials and the general public as well bother the least for them. Earth cutting in and around Guwahati makes a perfect case study to bring home this point.
The promulgation of 144 CrPC in and around Guwahati prohibiting earth-cutting is almost a routine affair, but the very purpose of promulgation of the prohibitory order is hardly served. Who is to blame for the situation that has come to such a pass that even rackets that carry on illegal earth-cutting activities dare the police to stop them, that too, in front of a district magistrate?
ADC Rajib Prakash Baruah of Kamrup (M) led a team of police personnel and district administration officials for raid against illegal earth-cutting at a place under Azara police station last night. The team led by the ADC was really in troubled waters! Without any prior information to the police station concerned the team from Guwahati reached the spot where over 20 dumpers and JCB diggers were engaged in earth-cutting. The policemen manning the police station were caught off-guard when the team from Guwahati reached the very spot and asked them to seize all the dumpers and JCB diggers in work, and arrest the men involved in the illegal activity.
The officer in-charge of the police station asked the men at work to hand over the dumpers and JCB diggers only to face a virtual challenge from them. “Seize them if you can,” the men at work dared the police officials right in front of the magistrate.
An ugly incident was somehow averted when the police personnel maged to seize only three dumpers and one JCB digger, leaving the rest. It could not be ascertained if any understanding was reached between the police personnel on duty and the men cutting earth illegally, but a question remains to be answered as to why only three of the over 20 dumpers and JCB diggers could be seized when all of them were caught red-handed while cutting earth illegally.
According to sources, after 10 pm rackets involved in earth-cutting start their work in full swing in places under a number of police station like Azara, Gorchuk, Jalukbari etc., under the very nose of the police personnel and forest officials. When the administration goes for raids they generally inform the police stations concerned first. In such raids, teams from Guwahati hardly find any earth cutting activities. The local people, however, allege that the police inform the earth-cutters of such raids after getting information from the district administration. However, last night the team from Guwahati reached the spot without any prior information to the Azara police station, and that led to such a situation.
Meanwhile, the ADC said that such raids would continue.