In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai shared a video of a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary in Pudukkottai threatening a whistleblower and a government official for recording a video of the alleged illegal mining of red sand being done by him.
In his post, Annamalai wrote, "Pudhukottai DMK functionary takes the liberty to illegally mine red sand. He goes one step further and confronts the whistleblower & the VAO with threats for exposing this illegal sand mining.
"Daylight robbery such as these is not accounted for in the ₹4700 Crore loss caused to the Exchequer in the last 1-2 years."
According to the subtitles in the video, the person recording could be heard saying to the official, "Sir...let me capture you too for proof. People should know that govt officer had come for inspection. Please let the Thasildar know about this. Please note the number plate details of the vehicles."
The conversation between the DMK functionary (D) and whistleblower (W) was as follows-
D: “Is this your work all the time? What can you do with this? Why are you recording this?"
W: "The Thasildhar will come, and I will show him the recording."
D: "Person of the ruling party (DMK) is involved in extracting sand illegally, will you keep coming like this?”
W: "Can a ruling party person extract (more) sand?"
D: "Who are you to question?"
W: "If you belong to the ruling party (DMK) can you extract sand?"
D: “Who the *** are you to question? You will be finished. Will you keep doing this? I'm warning you."
The DMK functionary then tells the workers to take the vehicles outside. The whistleblower zooms in on the number plate of a JCB.
The conversation continues after this.
D: "What pictures are you capturing? Men belonging to the ruling party (DMK) are there throughout TN. Will you catch everyone with these pictures?"
A lorry and the JCB are then driven away by the workers. The DMK functionary tells them "Park the vehicle in our place" and continues the conversation.
D: "Will file a case against you for harassing us. Come here, go file a case against me with those captured pictures. How many petitions we have to file against the Thasildar. If we keep filing how will the govt run? I belong to the ruling party (DMK) holding a party position. If I cannot extract sand for my own needs what is the need this govt?"
The video ends with the whistleblower saying, "I'll send the videos to Thasildar, you also send the same."
In April, a VAO named Lourdhu Francis died after being allegedly attacked by the sand mafia operating near the Tamirabarani river because he was reporting their activities to the police. Francis' family had alleged that he was not provided security in spite of his request.
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