Unlicensed sand diggers play ghost to continue illegal sand extraction

Srinagar: In a bizarre turn of events, as per the complaints filed by local residents living along the bank of River Jhelum, the unlicensed Sand Mafia is using a new way to continue their illegal task of excavation of sand. These people make horrifying sounds while digging sand from the bank of Jhelum during the night so that people living nearby do not interrupt them.

As per reports, these unlicensed sand diggers have made the lives of people living nearby a virtual hell that besides stealing valuables from their houses make creepy noises during night to keep on illegal sand excavation from Jhelum River.

It is pertinent to mention here that a big Sand Mafia exists in Srinagar that extracts sand from the bank of river Jhelum through mechanical boats particularly in areas like Zero Bridge, Pampore, Kakapora, Zoonipora, Nowgam and Pantha Chowk. The extraction has endangered the embankments of River Jhelum.

A houseboat owner, Mohammad Sultan told media persons that he and many other houseboat owners are suffering a horrifying situation for the last one month. These people try to give an impression of ghosts. They make horrible sounds and those who dare to confront them, face consequences.

“The only motive behind the harassment is that they want to create panic among the locals so that their wrongdoings remain unexposed,” Mohammad added as quoted in reports

The inhabitants also alleged that these Mafia people have hired goons to quell any resistance from people. These people are openly stealing sand which causes a huge loss to the state exchequer as it is deprived of royalty.

“It was around 5:30 am, I went out for ablution but the moment I stepped out I was attacked and abused by these goons. Trust me, we cannot move outside our houses till 8 am in the morning,” said another local.

Not just this, children can not sleep due to the horrifying treatment meted out to them by the sand mafia.

The locals allege that the sand  mafia enjoys police patronage. Despite being directed by Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar and Pulwama districts to take actions against the people extracting sand illegally from the bank of river Jhelum, nothing substantial has been done on ground. The concerned authorities are least bothered to protect people who have been harassed by sand diggers with reasons best known to them and the people involved in the sand digging.

Image Courtesy – Hiduth

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