9 December 2023
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Three crew members of a news channel were injured, one of them seriously, in an attack by mining mafia at a village under in Jalalabad, a subdivision of Fazilka district, Suraj, a correspondent of the news channel, told HT over phone that two teams of their channel, including reporter Neeraj Bali and cameramen Sandeep and Pritpal had gone to Amir Khas village in Jalalabad on Sunday evening after getting reports that illegal mining was rampant in the area. “Illegal mining was going on the spot and more than a dozen tractor-trailers, earthmoving machines and other heavy machinery were pressed into service to excavate sand,” said Suraj. When they started filming the illegal activity, some people armed with baseball bats and sticks thrashed them. Their video equipment was also damaged, he said. “Within no time, more people arrived and they also attacked them with bricks and sticks,” he said, adding that some villagers came to their rescue. While Neeraj and Pritpal were admitted to the Fazilka civil hospital, Sandeep, who received serious injuries, was rushed to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, added Suraj. “We made various calls to police, but in vain,” he alleged. Fazilka SSP Gulneet Singh Khurana said police are recording the statement of injured. Strict action will be taken against culprits, he said.Last month, goons of the mining mafia attacked AAP MLA from Rupnagar, Amarjit Singh Sandoa at Beinhara village, around 90km from Chandigarh. Sandoa had gone there after receiving reports that illegal sand mining was on at site. The incident came three days after two officials, including a forest officer, were brutally thrashed by five to seven assailants on the night of June 18, when they intercepted a sand-laden tractor-trailer near Seonk village in Mohali. Four others were also injured in that attack. Till filing of the news, Fazilka police booked Anil Chauhan, Gurjant Singh, Samsher Singh and Subhash booked under Sections 308, 382, 427, 506,149,148 and 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

News Reporter