IPS officer crushed to death by mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh
BHOPAL: In a horrific incident, a young IPS officer of the 2009 batch, Narendra Kumar, was brutally crushed to death under a stone-laden tractor trolley belonging to the illegal mining mafia. The incident happened on Thursday in broad daylight in the presence of eyewitnesses and Kumar's team of policemen.
Kumar (30) was posted as SDOP (sub-divisional police officer), Banmur, in the Chambal district of Morena, Madhya Pradesh, early this year. The ghastly killing happened in Banmur industrial town, which is notorious for stone-mining. According to DGP Nandan Dubey, the accused, Manoj Gurjar, has been arrested, and a case of murder has been registered against him.
"On Thursday afternoon, Kumar received a tip-off about illegal stone mining activity in his area and rushed to the spot with a team," MP home minister Uma Shankar Gupta told TOI. "On the way, he saw a speeding tractor trolley loaded with huge stone boulders, which he and his men tried to stop. But the driver swerved off from the concrete highway and down a slope into an adjoining field. As Kumar jumped after the speeding tractor, he lost his balance and rolled down the slope."
Eye-witnesses claimed that the driver saw the officer on the ground before him but did not stop. Instead, he ran over his body, which was dragged under the tractor's wheels for 50 metres. After crushing him, the tractor overturned, and Kumar's body was buried beneath the stone boulders. The profusely bleeding officer was rushed to Sahara Hospital in Gwalior but was declared dead on arrival.
Home minister Gupta later bemoaned the fact that the government had lost a good officer to the mafia on account of having taken a very hard stand against illegal mining. "The police had been ordered to check illegal mining, and Narendra Kumar was following those orders," he said. However, the Opposition Congress in the state isn't buying the government's line. "We have been repeatedly raising the issue of illegal mining both inside and outside the state assembly," said Ajay Singh, Congressman and leader of the Opposition. "But this is being carried out under the protection of the BJP government. Mining secretary S K Mishra is also the chief minister's secretary. Whether it is illegal mining of sand, stones or mineral ores, it is all happening under political protection."
Singh added that it was significant that Thursday's gruesome incident happened within the Lok Sabha constituency area of BJP national general secretary Narendra Singh Tomar. "Without political protection, no one has the moral courage to brutally kill a police officer in full public view," he said. "This betrays the total law-and-order failure in the state. We demand the resignation of home minister Uma Shankar Gupta and a CBI investigation into the incident."
According to DGP Dubey, Narendra Kumar was a policeman who could face up to hard challenges and was thus posted to the Chambal areas. His wife, Madhurani Tevatiya, is an IAS officer posted as additional collector, Gwalior. She is presently on maternity leave and was in New Delhi at the time of the incident.
Kumar's body will be taken tonight to his village, Lalpur, in UP. His distraught family has alleged that his death was a cold, calculated murder as he was working against the stone mafia.