Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Easy money has been luring gangsters into illegal stone mining in Khurda. Be it gangster Tito or Bikram Mallick, links of several other criminals have been traced in the rampant illegal stone mining which has now emerged as a major concern.

In a startling revelation in connection with Khurda stone mining racket, it has been found out that the entire racket is being run by a ‘Lady Don.’

The purported lady don is now under the scanner of the Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Police Crime Branch. The STF has recently registered FIR against 20 persons while a list of 28 others has been given to Khurda SP to take necessary action.

Sources said that bulk of the illegal mining is being operated by gangster Tito. Out of the total eight players in the business, the 'lady don' is touted to be more influential owing to the political patronage that she enjoys.

“We have prepared a list and those found involved in illegal stone mining operations will be booked,” said STF SP, Rahul PR.

As per reports, 20 to 25 youths are working in the team of the lady don who is said to be calling the shots and operating the entire illegal mining operations on behalf of gangster Tito.The members in the lady don’s team are paid monthly salary, motorcycles and firearms.

It is pertinent to mention here that the STF has launched a crackdown on the mafia and other criminals engaged in illegal stone mining in Khurda.

Following the arrest of Sanjay Paikaray after an encounter on July 1, the STF today arrested Nitu Mansingh from Bolgarh area. Though Nitu was handed over to Khurda Police, his brother is reportedly absconding.

“I had an excavator machine and had taken lease for operating crusher unit. He (Nitu) had asked me for the machine and after I refused, bombs were hurled at my house while his associates are threatening me,” said a businessman.