The opposition Congress has reiterated its demand for an independent inquiry into the alleged illegal coal mining and its transportation in Meghalaya.
“Unless there is an independent inquiry by an outside agency which is not under the control of the state government this truth cannot be uncovered and the perpetrators brought to book, they will all go scot free…it will also remain as a precedence,” Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma told reporters after chairing a meeting of the CLP on Saturday.
He was reacting to the recent tragic incident where at least five miners were trapped inside an illegal coal mine in the state’s East Jaintia Hills district.
Sangma said that the illegal coal mining is continuing even more when the state is being confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic related challenges.
The former chief minister also said that the state government is adopting a denial strategy on any instance of alleged illegalities in respect to illegal mining of coal and its transportation. He also referred to it as “more like a drama”.
“The prompt denial mode is one of the modus operandi that they have transcripted. They continue to do so as they have scripted it so well, they can’t deviate from there also…It is more like a drama, whatever they are saying it is like a drama, it has been well scripted, they can’t speak other than that, they will confine in that only as their priority is something else and to camouflage those priorities which are against the interest of the state, they have to continue speaking what have already been formatted in their whole transcripted version of the modus operandi,” he said.
Sangma further asked on the need to enquire from the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of South Garo Hills and the Officer in-charge of Nongalbibra about the numbers of coal loaded trucks plying through the Gasuapara land custom station.
“Just ring them up – this is happening. While we are focused on fighting this pandemic, their (government) focus is somewhere else, I am sorry, not to enrich the state but to enrich somebody against the interest of the people and the state,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition also claimed to have photographs (GPS coordinates) of trucks taken at certain locations in Garo Hills to be exported through Gasuapara land custom station. “The notification states that these consignments are coming from outside the state not from South Garo Hills – this is another modus operandi. They cannot deviate from the scripted modus operandi because it is well scripted,” he further alleged.