Tension in Rajasthan town after protest against illegal mining

Jaipur, June 7 (IANS) Tension prevailed in a Rajasthan town Friday after hundreds of villagers blocked a road and clashed with police to protest against alleged illegal mining of gravel from a river by the mining mafia, officials said.

According to police, hundreds of villagers staged demonstration in Jahajpur town of Bhilwara district, some 300 km from here.

"Over 300 villagers staged a sit-in in the town after blocking the road which is used for transportation of gravel mined from nearby Banas river. The villagers alleged that the mining has led to reduced ground water level in the area," a police officer said.

The villagers alleged that while they were protesting peacefully, some members of the mining mafia came there and started pelting stones at them, the officer added.

"In retaliation, the villagers too started pelting stones. Half a dozen vehicles, including the one belonging to local legislator Shivjiram Meena, were damaged," the officer said.

The villagers also hurled stones on the policemen, the officer said.

"A large number of police personnel have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order. Senior police and administration officials have assured the villagers of preventing illegal mining," the officer said.

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