Baddi’s Singham – IPS Gaurav Singh slapped with transfer orders for standing against mining and drug mafia
SHIMLA-The mining mafia is run with impunity under patronage of local MLAs and politicians. The Chief Minister confirmed it with the transfer of 25-years-old IPS,Gaurav Singh, who was posted as Additional Superintendent of Police in Baddi.
Known for his sharpness and indiscriminate attitude, the IPS officer had begun to be called ‘Singham’ by locals who applauded his unbiased action against mafia menace. But Gaurav was thrown out of way within a couple of days after he took action against transportation of illegally mined quarry material by a company owned by Doon MLA, Ram Kumar’s wife. It’s the same Congress MLA who had been in news previously for alleged involvement in Jyoti Murder Case. He had remained absconding for days to evade arrest before finally surrendering. He later walked free, as expected.
On the night of 2-3 August, ASP had caugh and challaned a vehicle transporting illegally mined material. The vehicle belonged to a company owned by Doon MLA’s wife. The permit for mining had already expired and the driver could not produce any documents related to permission for mining, hence, ASP slapped a challan worth Rs. 70,000. On Saturday, he seized two stone crushers and a JCB in the same case as well.
On August 4, Thursday, Doon MLA met the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and on Saturday, IPS Gaurav Singh received his transfer orders. He is transferred to Kangra as the ASP. When asked regarding the transfer of the ASP, Doon MLA denied having any knowledge or influence in it.
IPS Gaurav Singh had made headlines in dailies for his remarkable spirit toward proper enforcement of laws and the way he had become a terror for the mining and drug mafia operating in Badi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area. In just two months he had made it clear to the mafia what an IPS officer can do, if not chained by politicians. He worked nearly 20 hours a day which included frequent, late night raids to get hold of liquor, drug and illegal mining mafia. Since he joined at Baddi in January 2016, he imposed record penalty of over Rs 25 lakh and filed about 176 FIRs. Even the DSP was given complete liberty to crackdown culprits of any kind.
Badi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh is known as the hub for the mining mafia and drug mafia that work with impunity and in close nexus with neighboring state Punjab. Quarry material including sand and gravel is transported into neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana for various realty projects with no fear of the law. Instance of mafia’s growing influence can be imagined from the fact that IPS/IAS officers, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, and other officials who tried to put check on them were openly attacked. However, police couldn’t file proper cases against these goons because their political patrons came to their rescue. There were instances when mafia brandished firearms on officials to escape. Virbhadra Singh had himself accepted that mafias have grown stronger and enjoy political patronage. The CM had assured formulation of more stringent laws to curb this menace.
During HP Assembly Session in 2015, Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri had admitted that mining mafia has become very strong in the state.
However, whenever a truck is seized by the department, some member of the House intervenes to get it released. If they would not interfere, only then can illegal mining be curbed, he had said.
He had also informed that between 2010-11 and 2012-13, 11,647 cases of illegal mining were detected. Out of these, 7,738 cases were compounded and Rs 3,67,25,518 was realized from them as fees.
If the chain of events, attitude, and statements of the HP Government are analyzed, there appears to be only two possibilities why mafia is thriving in the state; either the CM is afraid of mafia or his own ministers and sitting MLAs are running mafia business and the CM can’t afford to annoy them, especially when BJP is looking for opportunities to destabilize Congress government. Later is almost an established fact and is confirmed now.
The state of police department in Himachal Pradesh is no better than other parts of India. IPS and HPPS officials are treated like puppets by corrupted politicians in power. There is a reason why present breed of politicians won’t introduce much needed reforms in the institution of police and law enforcement agencies in general. The government does not encourage brave, honest, and diligent police officers. Politicians prefer corrupt ones with a taste for slavery. They are more interested in using police as a tool that it could use for suppression of whoever poses threat to their government. However, that does not undermine the efforts and spirit of officers like IPS Gaurav Singh.
Also, the IPS/IAS community need to realize it is high time to stand in support of (honest) members of their fraternity.
Photo: Amar Ujala