Home India News Five criminal cases filed in Orissa over illegal mining

Five criminal cases filed in Orissa over illegal mining


Bhubaneswar : Orissa’s vigilance department has filed five criminal cases against firms and people allegedly involved in illegal mining in the state, an official said Saturday.

“The cases were filed against over a dozen of people including operators and owners of mining companies for mining illegally iron or manganese ore and some government officials who were helping them in the act,” Superintendent of Police (vigilance) Devadutta Pattnaik told IANS.

“The companies against whom cases have been registered are Sirajuddin & Co, Rungta mines and BD Patnaik mines. They all were operating in the district of Keonjhar without having necessary government clearances,” he said.

The cases were registered at vigilance police station at Balasore, some 200 km from here, one on Friday and two each on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to the charges, BD Patnaik mines has been accused of indulging in illegal mining from forest land causing the state a loss of more then Rs.42 crore.

Similarly Rungta has been accused of mining illegally in the forest land without having any clearances thereby causing the state an estimated loss of more than Rs.140 crore.

Serajuddin & Co has been accused of showing less production in the books of accounts, doing mining in forest land and illegally procuring iron ore and dispatching them.

A case has also been registered against Serajuddin for manipulating books of accounts, Pattnaik said.

Serajuddin& Co has been accused of causing a loss of more than Rs.30 crore to the state exchequer, he said.

In a related development, the vigilance department has also obtained from the court of chief judicial magistrate at Balasore a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against state’s leading mine owners S.N.Das Mahapatra after booking him under the same charge.

“We have obtained a non-bailable warrant against S.N. Das Mohapatra,” he said.

The department has initiated a move to attach his property following his failure to surrender before the police, the vigilance sleuth said.

None of the officials of any of the companies who have been charged by the vigilance were available for comments.

The vigilance department had earlier filed four criminal cases against different mine owners, and forest and mine department officials in August and had arrested eight people.

Orissa is one of the largest mineral-bearing states in India — 16.92 percent of the mineral reserves of the country are estimated to be in the state.

The state government started an investigation in July following allegations by politicians that some mines were operating without licences.

Earlier this month, the government ordered suspension of work in 69 mines and suspension of licences of many traders of different ores after they failed to produce documents to show that their mining activities were legal.