Mining racket still active in Keonjhar

Keonjhar: Smuggling of iron ore continues unabated in the district despite the raids by the police and the mining department authorities. The matter resurfaced after two trucks seized by the mining department authorities were forcefully hijacked from the Lahanda weigh bridge on February 25. The mining staff had seized the two trucks for over loading of iron ore.

The mining department has lodged an FIR in this connection in the Joda police station. The FIR strangely contained the name of Odia film producer Anuprasa Mohanty as an accused. Said Umesh Jena, deputy director of mines, Joda,"It was Anuprasa Mohanty and two other persons who virtually hijacked the two trucks aftwer threatening our staff." The inspector in-charge of Joda police station Ajay Mishra has assured to take action against the accuseds.

The matter was raised in the state assembly today. Champua MLA Jitu Patnaik while demanding that the mines minister should lay down all the facts in the house complained that the local tehsildar was hand in glove with the iorn ore smugglers. Meanwhile, the Keonjhar collector D V Swamy has asked the sub-collector to conduct an inquiry to find out the alleged involvement of the Joda tehsildar in the network. The entire jijack drama has been captured by the CCTV cameras fixed in the Lahanga weigh bridge.

The mining department too has started investigations into the matter. However, Odia film producer Anuprasa Mohanty was not available for his comments.