'SHRC directed SP to conduct inquiry'

'SHRC directed SP to conduct inquiry'

Villagers complain that sand is being mined illegally from the Hemavati riverbed

'SHRC directed SP to conduct inquiry'

The background of the incident was that the leaders of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene had visited Hemavati riverbed at Ahrahara hobli in Mudigere taluk, where sand mining activities were being carried out using hitachi machines and motor boats. Meanwhile, the contractors’ men had allegedly prevented the leaders and had tried to assault them.

Hasiru Sene District President H K Shashidhar stated in a press release that the Gonibeedu police did not accept the complaint filed and moreover, organisation leaders were made to wait in the police station. “The policemen were pressurising us to withdraw the complaint. Moreover, they also threatened saying that the contractors’ men would file case against us under the Dalit Atrocities (Prevention) Act,” he alleged.

“We had filed a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, but no action was taken. Hence we filed a complaint to the State Human Rights Commission. The Commission after holding an inquiry has directed the SP to take appropriate action,” he added.

A officer of DySP rank had conducted inquiry into the issue. However, the Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene leaders, who were not satisfied with the inquiry, had filed the complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

‘Complaints ignored’
Raitha Sangha State Secretary M Manjunatha alleged that the complaints of the general public are being ignored by the district administration.
“Sand mining is being carried out on the riverbed of Hemavati river unabated. Some contractors use mechanised boats, Hitachi machines and other machineries to mine sand from the riverbed. However, officials concerned did not take action even after receiving complaints,” Manjunatha added.

Villagers allege
Villagers say that JCB machines are being used for illegal sand mining. “Earlier we knew very well the topography of the river and nearby regions. However, now the surface of the river has been changed due to the illegal sand mining,” said H R Ashok, a villager of Hanthur. 

As per the High Court order mining is prohibited within one kilometre radius of the bridge. However, loads of sand can be seen stored inside the forest areas near the bridge.
“They keep the JCB machines hidden in their sheds during day time. They bring the machine to the riverbed during night. We have filed several complaints to the officials concerned.

However, none of them took initiatives to prevent the illegal sand mining activities,” lament villagers.

Similarly, illegal mining activities are being carried out near the Jogannanakere bridge at Hanthur too.

The Public Works Department had warned that the lifespan of the bridge will reduce if sand mining was carried out beneath it, said Raitha Sangha Leader Gurushanthappa. However, he alleged, “the officials of the Mines and Geology Department did not respond to the issue.”