BOKARO: District police continuing anti-coal smuggling drive on Thursday seized two trucks loaded with illegal coal alongwith a Bolero and arrested four persons including a chowkidar involved in the illegal trade under Bermo police station here. The coals seized in trucks are weighed around 40 tonnes which cost worth more than Rs 3 lakh .

SP, Kuldeep Dwivedi said the trucks ferrying illegal coals were caught by police team at Hindustan Bridge of Bermo area in morning. The coals were loaded in the truck in Upperghat, a Maoist affected area under Nawadih police station and were being transported to Bokaro.

However, the police team nabbed a truck driver Falender Mahto, conductor, Nemchand Mahto, chowkidar, Ramchadar Mahto apart from Mohan Mahto, while rest three of them managed to escape. All the accused belong to Bansi village of Nawadih.

The accused during police interrogation confessed that the coal excavated from illegal mines were loaded in trucks at Bansi village and were being transported to other places. This is second major recovery of illegal coals in span of past 15 days. Meanwhile, police in past 12 months have seized 47 trucks, 52 tractors, 10 motorbikes, 127 bicycles and 3800 tonnes of illegal coals conducting drive in different parts of the district.

Dwivedi said that they have instructed all the police officers to stop illegal mining and transportation in the district or otherwise be ready to face the music. “Economic crime will not be tolerated in the area,” said Dwivedi.

Earlier, on January 12 a special police team of Bokaro, Giridih arrested 18 persons and recovered huge amount of illegal coal worth more than Rs 12-13 lakh which was being transported illegally to coal markets outside the state in nine trucks. Taking stern action in this regard, the Inspector General, North Chottanagpur Zone, M L Meena has suspended two officers incharge of Vishnugarh and Tati-Jharia police stations of Hazaribagh police for dereliction of duty.

However in that raid involvement of police officers in illegal business of coal had come to fore while in this case it was chowkidar who was caught supporting coal thieves. Meena has directed SPs to curb illegal coal trade in their districts at any cost because it serves as a highest revenue generating point for Maoists, who earn huge amount of levy from the coal mafia and in return provide shelter to them in running unlawful business inside jungles.

A police officer, said that they can conduct raids at the spot where coal is excavated in Upperghat areas. But it is instruction of higher officials to concentrate on curbing illegal coal transportation first. Though the Upperghat area is entire Maoist zone covered with thick forest it will be difficult and risky for police to conduct anti-coal smuggling drive there frequently.