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Devoured and humiliated.

And now drenched in the blood of a senior police officer.

A pure 700km lengthy barrier to the western desert stretching from Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and ending in the plains of Gujarat has been uncovered.

The Aravali Range, India’s oldest fold mountain vary, even predates the Himalayas. But the historical rocks have been sculpted over many years to fulfill the insatiable calls for of the development sector.

An investigation by India Today revealed how mafias are blasting, grinding up and stripping down the countryside for constructing supplies.

In Nuh, the scene of Tuesday’s killing of DSP Surender Singh by the unlawful hit-and-run miners, two different members of a neighborhood mafia defined how they’d blow up the mounds and transport the rocks in bulk through secret routes.

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THE MAFIA OPERATIONS

Haqmin and Ifrahim, nicknamed Samar, informed India Today investigative reporters that they sourced gunpowder from neighboring Rajasthan to make explosive gadgets utilized in rock quarrying.

“It’s done by blasting, placing it (the dynamite) in the crevices,” Samar mentioned. “It has to be done with explosives. Otherwise, if someone asks for ten truckloads of bricks, it wouldn’t be possible. Explosions are made at night.”

Gunpowder, he continued, is placed in grenades and lit from a safe distance. “The explosion could be so highly effective that it will possibly shake a big home.”

Excavators use heavy machinery and bulldozers, while a network of informants keep watch everywhere.

They would sound the alarm as soon as they spot police patrols.

Also read: | Aravallis: The Destruction Continues | SPL REPORT

“Four to five people will be involved in loading. JCBs will also be there,” Samar said. “Owners of the vehicles are usually present so that the drivers don’t flee with them. People are deployed at key points. If they noticed police movement, they would call us immediately and announce a clear escape route.”

According to Samar and Ifrahim, stones are stored in the evening and transported by the Aravalis in Nuh in the middle of the night.

“We can get 4,000 to 4,500 rupees per truckload as much as a most of 5,000 rupees in villages,” Ifrahim said.

THE BEARER ATTACKS

The murder of DSP Surender Singh is not unique to Nuh.

Varun Singla, the district police chief, recalled that in December his patrol was attacked while chasing a fleet of trucks carrying rocks.

“I was attacked in December. There were 12 trucks in all, but one truck tried to flee and hit our vehicle. Luckily we were rescued,” Singla informed India Today.

UNORGANIZED AND LOCALIZED

The authorities know that the mafia that’s dismantling the Aravalis isn’t formally organized.

In different phrases, unlawful excavations usually are not carried out by a single mafia group with a central command.

“This isn’t an organized mafia incident. It’s a disorganized sector working for its personal financial system,” Singla said.

The mining mafias across the country have had multiple run-ins with the law. More than four lakh and 16,000 cases have been recorded across the country in recent years.

WEAK ENFORCEMENT

For its part, the central government first restricted mining and construction in Aravalis in 1995, followed by several Supreme Court orders banning similar activities in the fragile range of hills in 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2018.

But enforcement remains lacking.

In 2014, the Supreme Court took a hard look at a report by a designated committee detailing illegal rock mining in the Mewat, Bhiwani and Mahendergarh zones in Haryana.

Four years later, the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee found that in Rajasthan alone, 25 percent of Aravali territory had been lost to illegal mining since 1968.

A GRAVEL OF INJURIES

India Today found another miner conducting an illegal excavation operation barely two miles from where DSP Singh was mowed down.

I have admitted to quarrying rocks from the vulnerable hills of the Mewat region.

Hasan explained that his men would procure legally extracted stones from government-approved sites in Rajasthan and blend them with the stones mined illegally in Haryana to make gravel.

While the stones from Rajasthan are subject to government taxes and duties, the Aravali mafia’s shipments are traded duty-free.

The gravel is sold on the open market, grossly underpaid — regardless of the contents, which were originally carved from the rocks at Haryana, he said.

“Our business is supply-based. We have a (shredding) machine here. We source half of the material from leased miners in Rajasthan. It is then mixed with the other half (excavated from here) and then crushed,” Hasan explained.

“We save 3,000-3,500-4,000 (rupees) per truck. It all depends on the number of trips. We can do up to ten trips or just one or two trips a day.”

He insisted his group would bribe local officials and police officers nightly.

“The bribe is not determined by truckloads. It is decided per night – we can pay 4,000, 5,000 or even 10,000 in one night depending on the number of vehicles used.”

In Sehsaula village in Nuh district, illegally mined stone can be easily sourced from the gray market, India Today found.

Asin, who runs a street stall, offered to deliver stones mined from the Aravalis by his nephew.

“A dump truck (with stones) costs 11,000 to 12,000 rupees. My nephew will pay 4,000 to 5,000 rupees of that for himself. He’s the one who mines the stones, loads them and transports them,” Asin mentioned.

Also learn: | The entire machinery of government in Rajasthan has rotted: Supreme Court

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