Diphu: At a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre and state has committed a transparent and corruption-free governance, police officials posted at Manja check post in Diphu of Assam’s Karbi Anglong district were caught red-handed allegedly carrying out unlawful activities while on duty.
As per reports, some police officials were caught on camera while giving free pass to illegal sand traders working in the district by accepting bribes from truck drivers.
Interestingly, a team of local journalists along with few locals while making a sudden visit to the Manja check-point on NH-36 on Tuesday found that illegal sand trade was rampant in the district, allegedly carried out with a nexus between the local police politicians.
As per sources, several sand-loaded trucks coming from Bakulia, Patradisa, Longnit and Disobai area of the district that supplies illegal sand to nearby Dimapur town in Nagaland were allowed to pass through the Manja check-point set up a little ahead of the Manja police station. At the check post, in the name of checking documents of the vehicles crossing by, officials indulge in collecting illegal taxes from goods carrying and sand-loaded trucks.
Not only this, the illegal sand-laden trucks need to make a halt at several other police check points and pay illegal taxes at several other check-points that lies on NH-36 until they reach Dimapur.
Revealing this to the media, a truck driver informed that every time they reach a check-point on the route, they are made to halt for a while and the handymen gets down for showing documents and hands over a fixed amount of money to the police personnel on duty. He further informed that they pay a total amount of Rs 4,200 in the name of ‘taxes’ to forest department and police personnel on a single trip from Patradisa to Lahorijan along Assam-Nagaland border.
“For the protection range, we have to pay Rs 300, for Manja Central Range, we pay Rs 500. We also pay Rs 300 each for Manja police and Dillai police, Rs 200 at 10 Mile Dillai Road and Rs 900 at Lahorijan for both the police and forest departments,” a truck handyman said.
On being questioned by media persons about the unlawful taxes collected from illegal sand-laden trucks, a cop on duty at Manja check-post refused to give an explanation. He said he was just performing his duty as directed by the higher officials.
“I am doing my duty as directed by the officer-in-charge. If I speak something, I will be in trouble and even if I don’t speak, it will create a problem,” the policeman said.
Meanwhile, denying all camera evidences captured by local journalists present at the check-post, a top cop on duty said that he was just checking documents of the vehicles and nothing illegal was going on.
Despite the NGT ban on sand mining across Assam, the activity has been rampant in several parts with the help of a nexus between police and local politicians, say locals.