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Public hearing turns ugly in East Jaintia Hills DC office complex; several injured

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Khliehriat, Nov 21: The Public Hearing regarding the expansion of the mining lease of Star Cement Pvt Ltd at Brichyrnot Village that was scheduled for today had to be adjourned after the hearing turned into chaos.

NGOs present at the venue staged a protest and forcefully entered the ‘Pandal’ area where the hearing was in progress.

Thr groups included the Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Hynniewtrep A’chik National Movement (HANM), East Jaintia National Council (EJNC), Saiñdur, Tipkur Tipkha, Ieng, Ehrngiew, Khun Hynñiewtrep (STIEH) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF).

The public hearing, which was chaired by E Kharmalki, Deputy Commissioner East Jaintia Hills, was organized by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) to hold dialogue on the proposed limestone and Shale Mining Project of the M/s Star Cement Meghalaya at an area of 42.051 hectares under Brishyrnot village in East Jaintia Hills District.

Only a few selected members of different NGOs were allowed to take part in the public hearing as per the seating capacity of 50 people. But the NGOs demanded to increase the capacity to 100 persons. However, as per instructions from the District Administration, exceeding the fixed capacity per batch is not acceptable, therefore this spark an outrage from the NGOs side.

In this chaos between the police personnel with the NGOs, several people are reported injured including one police personnel who has sustained a major injury in the head area.

A case has been registered by the authorities in connection with the incident.

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