Sand Workers Injured in Firing by Sand Mafia

Dozens of workers have been injured in firing by sand mafia on workers on 13th July morning. Of the injured, Bhaiyalal Nishad, s/o Ramchandra, r/o Kanjasa is serious with hundreds of pellet injuries, is admitted to Colvin hospital. Others include Radheyshyam Nishad and Ghanshyam r/o Kanjasa and Krishnanad and Lalji r/o Jalapur were treated at Jasra CHC.

Massive police mobilization was done by Alld administration after goons of sand mafia Ram Lochan Yadav, brother of SP MLA Vijma Yadav fired on the workers at Madaripur ghat today morning at 6 am. More than 3000 workers had gathered to protest illegal and unscrupulous lifting of dry river ghat sand by loader machines by Ram Lochan’s men. This illegal minning was being done under ‘watchful’ glare of senior officials of the district administration. Workers have been protesting this destruction of river ecology and their employment for long. They have also lodged protests against Rs 1200 excess charges imposed by mafia for permits.

Only recently, on June 20 workers had protested at Allahabad collectorate and then met the DM, Sri Guruprasad on 26th. He was extremely insensitive to the problem and had told sand workers that boats are not meant for sand mining and if they argue he will get all of them behind bars.

Police force of several thanas assembled in village Madaripur – Jalalpur on North bank in Kaushambi and in village Beekar in Allahabad on the south bank. CO Kareli Radhey Shyam Rai along with one SDM ranked official and ACM (1) and other officials reached the spot and assured action. An FIR will be registered, PAC will be deployed to prevent operation of loaders, all accused will be arrested immediately.

Workers gathered when the mafia goons Ram Lochan Yadav brother of SP MLA Vijma, Kallu Yadav, Chote Yadav, Mulayam Yadav, Pujari Yadav, Kallu Pahalwan, Aspathali, Jumman, Gddu and Ujedi mostly r/o Madaripur and several others illegally asked for royalty. While wrokers refused they began pelting stones and fired. They came down to the bank, damaged two boats belonging to Kallu Nishad and Jeetlal Nishad of Kanjasa and submerged two more in the water. While workers got injured in the stone pelting more workers came to Madaripur ghat. The mafia goons took up position high above the ghat in the village at the edge and began firing indiscriminately to prevent workers from assembling. But the gathering continued to swell. After more than 2 hours of the stand off the police led by CO Kareli reached the village at around 9 am, though the SSP had been informed on phone early in the morning. The CO then asked 5 workers to come up to the basti to talk to the police. The workers refused this and asked the police to come down to the ghat. Finally the entire force and officials came to the ghat where they talked to the workers.

AIKMS Vice President Comrade Suresh who led the talks has criticized the administration for not taking action in time despite repeated complaints. Even now a problem is brewing in village Jagdhishpur where JP group is directly trying to lift dry sand despite protest from the workers. AIKMS leaders Gurudin, Bhuar, Phulchand, Bachilal, Ramasrey, Vinod, Dashrath were present in the talks.

AIKMS has been fighting against illegal sand mining and damage to environment and ecology by the machines used by politically connected sand mafia. Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court in several orders has restrained the administration from permitting use of machines and damage to river flow. In the recent Durga Shakti conflict with SP mafia, it came to light that because of heavy excavation of sand from the river ghat in Noida, 8 km long Jamuna flow has shifted 500 metres to the east. Such change of course can be devastating for human life during heavy rains.