Police cracks whip against illegal sand extractors in Pampore

Bilal Habib

Pampore: Police on Wednesday filed cases against illegal sand extractors and seized their boats from river Jehlum in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

A day after divisional commissioner Kashmir took serious note of illegal sand extraction from the beds of Jhelum, police raided some areas of Pampore and Kakapora and seized at least eight boats.
A police official said that an FIR has been lodged against eight persons at Police Station Pampore.
“Many boat owners in the village resisted the move but we went on with the drive,” said Station House Officer, Raja Tasleem.
He said that the drive to free the Jehlum of illegal sand extraction would continue.
Meanwhile, many mechanical boat owners at Patalbagh held a protest demonstration against the authorities for allegedly “snatching their livelihood.”
“After September floods we bought these motor boats in order to earn our livelihood but now they have snatched them from us,” said Mohammad Maqbool, a mechanical boat owner.
The boat owners claimed that they did not pose any threat to the embankments of the Jehlum.
The Div Com had directed the Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar and Pulwama to take steps for deployment of magistrates for prevention of illegal extraction of sand, and to lodge FIR against illegal sand extractors using mechanical boats to safeguard the embankments of river Jhelum.
The boat owners said that those using traditional boats have not been taken to task.
“How are traditional boats no threat to the river Jhelum,” questioned Mohammad Irfan, a boat owner of Patalbagh.