NGO members thrashed while trying to ‘stop’ illegal sand mining in Garo Hills

TURA, JUL 5 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/5/2020 1:25:06 PM IST

Some members of the All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union (AMMSU) in West Garo Hills (WGH) sustained injuries after being allegedly attacked by people belonging to a group of illegal sand smugglers from Assam, reports The Northeast Today.

It was informed that the incident took place on July 4, when the alleged criminal elements from Assam, beat up the group when they went to stop the illegal extraction of sand from the Jinijram River near the Ginning Mill area, bordering Assam.
“We were tipped off about some criminal elements from Assam forcefully entering Meghalaya and making away with sand that they mined from the Jinjiram River near the Ginning Mill area near Phulbari. There were about 30 boats that were illegally ferrying sand from the river into Assam,” said Nur Islam Sk, the All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union  president.
The illegal mining was allegedly being done by some criminal elements with the support from locals of the area.
“Our members opposed the act stating that it was not allowed, especially during the period of lockdown owing to COVID – 19. However, they were attacked by the same group when they went to take photos of the boats carrying sand illegally from the river banks. They somehow managed to escape from there and informed us,” added Islam.
According to the FIR filed by All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union, the smugglers led by one Akkabar Ali, tried to kill them by throwing them into the river.
Ali allegedly had more than 15 people along with him during the attack.
“They somehow saved themselves and informed us. We seek a thorough investigation into the matter by the police, so that criminal elements are taken care of and such illegal acts are prevented, especially at the time of COVID – 19 lock-down,” added Islam.

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