Ranpur mine scam: Cases registered against 11 persons including bizmen, revenue officials

Nayagarh: Acting on a directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Kolkata, the district administration today registered a police case against 11 persons in connection with a laterite stone scam, which was carried out at mines under Ranpur tehsil limits and Mayurjhalia mouza of Nayagarh.

According to the IIC of Chandpur police station, the 11 accused are leaseholder Sushant Kumar Barad, director of Agarwal Infra Builders Sashank Agarwal, erstwhile tehsildar of Ranpur Jugal Kishore Mishra, additional tehsildar Sanjaya Kumar Samantaray, a tehsildar in charge Ashok Kumar Patnaik, two revenue Inspectors (RIs) Prashant Nayak and Prashant Pradhan, former clerks Arun Kumar Sethi, Mohammed Sultan and Chandrasekhar Nanda and supervisor Pramod Kumar Pradhan.

Also read: Nayagarh Collector among 4 booked for seeking financial favour to the tune of Rs 25 lakh

Allegedly, the leaseholder had carried out excess mining of laterite stone and murram than the accorded quantity in unholy nexus with some officials and staffers of Ranpur tehsil. A complainant Dillip Kumar Samantaray had moved the NGT seeking justice and action against wrongdoers, in this regard.

Subsequently, a probe was conducted by a joint team comprising some senior officials and geologists of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and the Nayagarh district Collector. Collector Rabindra Nath Sahu had filed an affidavit with the NGT on December 6, 2022, reporting about the probe findings.

In the court’s final verdict a few days ago, the NGT instructed for registering a case, the IIC said.

Accordingly, the district Collector ordered the Ranpur tehsildar to lodge an FIR with the police.

It is pertinent to mention, key accused Sushant Barad was accorded the lease for mining laterite stone and murram from four acres of land on plot Number-1689 under Mayurjhalia mouza in the district for a period of five years. Similarly, the Agarwal Infra Builders was given a temporary permit to quarry and transport soil from two acres of land on the same plot.

Sushant Barad was fined Rs 2,81,59,945 on January 10 this year for the excess mining. However, Barad did not pay the hefty fine amount and rather brought an allegation of bribe against the District Collector.

Leaseholder Barad had cited in his appeal that Collector Sahu asked him for a bribe of Rs 25 lakh to set aside the case. On the contrary to which, the allegation was rejected by the NGT.

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