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Illegal diamond mines raided in India’s Panna reserve

10 february 2020

india_flag.pngAfter reports of illegal diamond mining in the protected forest area near Panna National Park, forest department conducted raids to curb the shallow-mining of precious stones very close to the buffer zone of the park on Friday, 7, Feb, according to a TOI report.
Equipment used for digging was confiscated while the people involved in mining escaped. After years of shallow mining of diamonds in Panna, the precious stones are hard to find in the mines situated outside the jungle. Most such shallow mines are now located on the private lands and farm fields.
"Villagers have now started carrying the mining operations right inside the forest. And this is not possible without connivance of our staff", as per a senior forest official.  
A large number of diamond mines are operated inside the protected area of the forest. Almost on a regular basis, villagers mine diamonds from the shallow mines in Panna. The diamonds are auctioned by the administration every three months and the proceeds are handed over to the miner after deducting the royalty.
But, there are more illegal diamond shallow mines than the number of legal mines leased out by the administration, forest department sources claimed, and diesel pump sets, a large number of shovels and spade were confiscated.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished