Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Tamil Nadu
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Tamil Nadu - Tirunelveli Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Villagers protest `illegal' sand mining, 21 held

By P. Sudhakar



The Tiruchendur MP, V. Radhika Selvi, and the Radhapuram MLA, M. Appavu, arguing with officials at Mittadharkulam on Tuesday demanding immediate stopping of sand mining in the village quarry.

TIRUNELVELI, JUNE 22. Tension prevailed at Mittaadhaarkulam, a hamlet on the Valliyoor - Tiruchendur stretch, and its surroundings, after 21 persons, including four above 55 years, were arrested and remanded to custody when they prevented "illegal sand mining" from a quarry in the village last night.

They have been charged with damaging lorries and heavy equipment parked in the quarry and stealing Rs. 25,000, salaries of drivers and operators, kept in one of the poclains.

Around 10 p.m., Mittaadhaarkulam residents, led by the Tiruchendur MP, V. Radhika Selvi, went to a government quarry in their village below the Nambiyar dam following a complaint that sand was being quarried with fake passes at night, though mining after 6 p.m. was banned.

They also said groundwater in the region had gone down alarmingly after the government allowed "indiscriminate mining."

On seeing the crowd charging towards the quarry, lorry drivers and officials fled immediately. Though the villagers denied that they damaged any vehicle or equipment, the Thisayanvilai police registered a case against 200 persons and arrested 21 of them.

As the news spread this morning, the Mittaadhaarkulam church bell was sounded, which also alerted surrounding villages. Most men in the villages went underground fearing arrest. However, others, especially women, led by Ms. Radhika Selvi and M. Appavu, Radhapuram MLA, (Independent), laid siege to the quarry.

Anticipating this development, over 150 police personnel were deployed at Mittaadhaarkulam and the quarry and a riot control vehicle was positioned in the village. Officials assured the MP and the MLA that they would survey the quarry once again and submit a report to the government, but the villagers said the agitation would be withdrawn only if mining was terminated and the arrested persons were released.

When talks with the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police, M.C. Sarangan, at the Thisayanvilai station failed, the villagers met the Collector, Atul Anand, and submitted a memorandum, demanding that mining be terminated as the region was drought-hit.

Mr. Anand told them that an experts committee was formed four days ago to look into the matter.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Tamil Nadu

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu