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Maharashtra official assaulted by sand mafia


Pandharpur (Maharashtra) : A Maharashtra revenue department official was Monday manhandled and assaulted by two men of the local sand mafia after he stopped them from illegally removing sand from riverside.

Tehsildar Muzaffar Attar was manhandled when he stopped the two men with around 25 donkeys removing the sand from Bhima river of this temple town in Solapur district.

“I saw these two men leading 25 donkeys loaded with sacks of sand. They did not have any official paperwork with them,” Attar told IANS.

“When I questioned them and told them that their donkeys will not be allowed to pass, they manhandled me,” he added.

Attar said that the sand mafia in the district is very active and they face similar situations time and again. He however declined to identify them, saying he is not aware of the names.

In February, the district administration torched 28 sand-lifting boats in the district as they contained sand illegally removed from the Bhima river.

According to officials, the illegal removal of sand from rivers has put the environment in danger as the water level had depleted in the region.