Morena: After the recent brutal killing of IPS officer Narender Kumar allegedly by the mining mafia, CNN-IBN travelled to the illegal mines of Chambal to get a first hand perspective of what really happens. Any voice against the lucrative trade is silenced with bullets.
"One honest officer stood up to the mafia, but you saw the result of his actions," said Betaal Singh Yadav, brother of one of the Mafia victims, Jaswant Singh Yadav.
All that remains in Bammor is the legend of young IPS officer Narender Kumar and the stones that hold the key to his killing. According to local policemen, in just over a month, Kumar had registered over 20 cases against illegal mining. However, he paid with his life.
The mystery is as deep as the killer mines of Morena. Since Kumar's death, fearing action, those working in the mines have vanished.
In the heart of Chambal, first made infamous by the dacoits of the area, was later made home by the mining mafia.
Selling for up to Rs 2000 per tractor load locally, the price rises to Rs 20,000 beyond the state border. If anyone dares to interfere, he is silenced like Narender Kumar. Local villager, 36-year-old Jaswant Singh Yadav, too paid with his life five years ago as he was shot dead by the mafia. His family still lives in fear.
"Out of a 100, most are illegal mines. There are leases for areas where there are no stones to be mined. This is happening openly. They have licenses for one place, but are mining from somewhere else," said Betaal Singh Yadav.
The problem on the ground is confirmed by senior police officers, but they insist, it isn't so alarming.
"There is no large scale mafia, but lots of people are involved in illegal activities at their own risk," said DP Gupta, DIG, Chambal.
The mining agreement says that Rs 1,620 is to be taken per truck, but contractors charge much more, allegedly on behalf of the powerful mining lobby, who are backed by politicians. A mining officer's report even names Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader KP Singh Bhadauria for being involved.
"Politicians are paying cops, cops are paying politicians, public is being looted," said Betaal.
If the administration remains unable to act, many more voices maybe silenced in the mines of Morena.