Sarpanch escorted by Rajasthan cops beaten to death by sand mafia

JAIPUR: A 50-year-old sarpanch died after he was attacked by suspects involved in illegal sand mining at Bowli village in Sawai Madhopur district on Wednesday night.Raghuveer Singh Meena, a sarpanch of Hathdoli village, had gone to Bowli after he learned that several trucks were being loaded with sand (bajri). The suspects armed with sticks and stones attacked Meena and others. As Meena ran, he fell to the ground and was beaten up. According to district SP Maman Singh Yadav, Meena was accompanied by teams from the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) and the mining department which have set up several check-posts to prevent illegal sand mining.“As soon as they entered the village, they saw trucks were being loaded with sand. Some people pelted stones at Meena, RAC and mining department personnel,” Yadav said.They were forced to retreat after Meena was injured in the violence. Officials with the Sawai Madhopur police informed TOI that Meena and other officials were running from the area to save themselves when Meena was hurt.Aprofusely bleeding Meena was rushed to a local hospital in Sawai Madhopur. A few hours later he was referred to SMS Hospital in Jaipur for further treatment. But he succumbed to injuries en route to Jaipur early morning on Thursday.His death sparked off protests in the area with several people, including Lalsot MLA Kirori Lal Meena, demanding the arrest of the accused as quickly as possible. The protesters refused to claim the body and staged a dharna in front of Bowli police station.“We are speaking to protesters and some understanding has been reached,” said district collector K C Verma. The case has been handed over to Sawai Madhopur circle officer (rural) Sampat Singh. “We have filed a case under various sections of the IPC. As many as eight suspects have been identified,” Singh said. The Supreme Court had banned sand mining in the state sometime back. Since then, the mining mafia has been attempting to smuggle sand which is in high demand in the construction industry.

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