HAZARIBAG: The twist in the tale of Mahendra Das, a local hero who suddenly falls from grace, came as a shock on Tuesday when the OC ofKeredari police station was showcaused and suspended for allegedly encouraging coal mafias in the area.

Das was a hero in the department after he helpedHazaribag police nab Maoist zonal commander Navin Manjhi last year. He also received Rs 25,000 reward for the same.

However, the Hazaribag SP, Manoj Kaushik, said he received information that Das was encouraging illegal coal mining and was not making any arrest despite the standing order by the state government to curb illegal mining.

Following this, Kaushik had directed DSP Satish Kumar Jha to inquire into the matter. Jha raided forests in Kandaber under Keredari police station and found more than 100 metric tonnes of illegally mined coal.

He also found that Das had seized a loaded truck, which met with an accident, and refused to release the vehicle unless the owner, who had produced legal documents, paid a bribe of Rs 25,000. The owner had lodged a complaint.

Jha submitted his report on the basis of which Das was suspended after being showcased and asked to report at the police lines.