Ali Abdullah
SIALKOT
Allegedly led by the PML-N lawmaker from NA-113 and his cousin, local scoundrels have been turning, for about 10 years, arable land into ponds after selling mud below about 15 feet of the earth level and then sand till water level reaches after about 90 feet digging `thereby creating problems for the populace, it is learnt.
Sources said, “Some of Pakistan’s top 10 criminals belonging to Sialkot had been killed by the law enforcement agencies and the other joined political parties and are sitting in the assemblies. The same accused including MNA Iftikharul Hassan and his first cousin are behind the illegal business of mud selling in Sialkot areas.”
The practice is underway in the areas linked Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Road, Bheelomar, Daska by the mafia which consists of the PML-N MNA , his cousin Nanhay Shah, Gul Nawaz Bhali, a resident of Rasoolpur Bhalian, and Amjad of Koray. The influential persons buy acres of arable land and sell its mud to the adjacent brick kilns which produce bricks out of the mud. When sand level reaches after almost 15 feet digging, excavators are installed and sand is taken to Sialkot, Daska and Samberial for selling. They keep digging and selling about 70-90 feet till the water level reaches.
Local people Sarfraz, Amjad and Liaqat said that at least 25 acres of land in the village of Muhammadpura, union council Ghuwainki has been converted into ponds in the process. The people once had protested against the mafia but only “bogus” cases were registered and later they were harassed to tape their lips, they added.
Owing to the practice, water beneath the earth has become salty in these villages and if the mafia is not stopped, at least 4 villages will extinct in the next few years from the face of earth , they feared. Digging is increasing day by day and the population of Kot Bhukhran, Gidpur and Kotli Kokeyan is also concerned. The people have to sell out their lands to the mafia as the MNA’s first cousin is ringleader of the gang, the sources said.
On the other side, the district administration has turned a blind eye to the issue. These villages consist of about 6,000 people who are silent because they believe that nothing could be done against the mafia .
When contacted, MPA Mohsin Ashraf said that he was already alive to the issue. He said that the local people should move the court against the business. He added that because of political pressure, the police were unwilling to take action against the mafia .
On the contrary, DCO Iftikhar Ali Sahu was unaware of the situation. He was curious why people of the villages had not yet lodged a complaint about the practice or gone to the court of law for necessary action. The DCO said that the people should remonstration with him about the problem.
However, DPO Gohar Nafees said that regarding digging of lands, the Minerals Department has full authority. it gives permissions and set parameters for digging, he added, saying if these parameters were being violated, legal action could be taken against the perpetrators. If a complained is filed, he said, the police will take a action against the mafia .