An alleged member of a mining mafia fired in the air during a late night raid by the Loni sub-divisional magistrate, but the officer and his team managed to seize five trucks and soil worth Rs 10 lakh, an official said today. District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari said SDM Indu Prakash had received information about illegal mining going on in the area on the intervening night of January 4 and January 5. Prakash, accompanied by deputy superintendent of police (circle officer) Loni, Durgesh kumar, and other police officials, conducted raid around 1.30 am, the District Magistrate said. When the team reached near Banthla village, they saw three stationary trucks. Upon seeing them, the drivers tried to flee but were caught by the officials, Maheshwari said. When the officials asked about the registration papers of the trucks they could not show valid documents. Suddenly, three people came in a car and fired in the air. The gunner of the SDM also returned fire.
The three have been identified as Sageer, Mintoo and Harendra of Siroli village, the officer said, adding they managed to escape. Two more trucks were seized upon information from the drivers. The officer said soil worth Rs 10 lakh have been sized. The police post incharge and the lekhpal of the area have suspended for their alleged negligence in duty, the DM added.