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India official tells people to 'loot as much as you can' country's mineral wealth

An Indian government official has told his constituents to “loot as much as you can” regarding the country’s mineral wealth.

The comment from Azam Khan, a senior minister in the Uttar Pradesh state’s ruling Samajwadi Party, came after a civil servant seized more than 20 dump trucks and arrested several leaders of illegal sand-mining gangs. The civil servant, Durga Shakti Nagpal, was later fired from her position for ordering the demolition of an illegal mosque.

The gangs, which illegally mine sand for India’s booming construction industry, are believed to have political links to Khan’s party, The Telegraph reports.

"Everyone has the right on nature's bounty. Loot as much as you can," Khan said lauding Nagpal's ouster.

The Indian Administrative Service, a civil servant organization, accused the state government of punishing Nagpal to send a message to other honest government officials, The Telegraph reports.

Click for more from The Telegraph.