Ranchi: Chief minister Hemant Soren on Saturday directed authorities concerned to run special drives from June 1 to 15 to curb illegal mining activities in the state and also instructed the districts to install CCTVs in all mining zones and check-posts apart from orders to set up toll-free numbers to receive complaints about illegal mining activities.
Soren made the directives during a video conference with all deputy commissioners and SPs in the afternoon. The move assumes significance at a time his government is facing a host of accusations over rampant illegal mining in the state.
Opposition BJP has been accusing the Soren government of patronizing illegal activities, especially in the Santhal Pargana region. Besides, Soren and his brother Basant Soren, who is also a JMM MLA from Dumka, are already facing probes over the office-of-profit row related to mining.
Recently, former mines secretary Pooja Singhal was arrested in connection with a multi-crore MGNREGA scam by the ED, which has now expanded its scope of investigation to illegal mining and leasing of mines.
At the same time, the Jharkhand high court is also hearing a PIL regarding shell companies reportedly set up by Soren and others to use them for laundering money received from illegal mining and leasing.
A similar meeting was held by DGP Neeraj Sinha with all SPs and senior police officers at the police headquarters on Friday.
In Saturday’s meeting, Soren said, “Illegal mining activities bring a bad name to the government and the state. Take all those who are engaged in such activities to task immediately. If required, devise a proper mechanism to end the menace. The government will not tolerate such illegal activities.”
He also warned the officials to be prepared for action in case of any lapses. “Strict action will be taken against officials who are in charge of places where such illegal mining activities are reported,” he said, adding that a special team will be set up at the state level soon to end the officials-illegal miner nexus.

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