An environment activist, who had sought prohibition of alleged illegal sand mining near Narora atomic power station in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal district, today moved a fresh plea claiming he was being "threatened" to withdraw his case.
The green panel, on April 8, had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on the petition by Modi Nagar resident Phirey Ram Prajapati alleging that illegal mining was being carried out in the close vicinity of the atomic power station and on the banks of Ganga and its floodplains in the area.
In his fresh petition, Phirey Ram has alleged that on April 13, pursuant to issuance of notice in the case, he received a call from the PA of Uttar Pradesh Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati.
"It is respectfully submitted that in the said telecon the PA of the Mining Minister namely Vikas Verma not only threatened the applicant to withdraw the plea but also threatened the applicant to falsely implicate the petitioner in illegal sand mining cases," the plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, alleged.
The petition further alleged that "despite notices being issued to the state government by this tribunal, the sand mafias are continuously and consistently carrying on the illegal mining at the bank of Ganga, village Ishampur, tehsil Gunnor, district Sambhal and that too without fear of law."
It further claimed that the villagers have given him photographs which clearly "supports the case of the petitioner" and also shows that sand mafias were carrying out illegal activities under the "nose of the administration".
Earlier, the NGT had sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea which had also sought directions to the state government, state level environment impact assessment authority and the district administration to "stop illegal sand mining completely without obtaining environmental clearance and other required permission".