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Raids should be done to check illegal coal mining: Rymbui

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Shillong, Jan 28: The State Government has said that the raids should be done to check illegal coal mining, even as the Home Minister asked the district administration headed the committee which was constituted two-three years back to raid all those places where illegal mining was taking place.

Recalling that the committee headed by the district administration in coordination with the police was already constituted by the state government to look into illegal mining of coal, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said, “It is time for the government to see how this committee is working and if not, they have to work vigorously.”

“Periodic raids, if at all they get information, should be done to curb such illegal activities…They have to monitor and they should act immediately against any illegalities otherwise it will be very difficult (to address this problem),” he further asserted.

Giving an update of the investigation is still going on into the coal mining accident in East Jaintia Hills district, Rymbui said so far as many as 17 people have been detained for questioning.

“The process of investigation is still on and I cannot divulge more until and unless it is concrete,” he said while adding that it is too early to say whether illegal coal mining was happening at Sorkari.

Informing that the mine owner is still absconding, the minister said, “The mine owner has not been caught yet. We know that the land-owner is in the name of Lar Bareh and it seems like he is not doing the mining himself so we have to connect the dot because in any investigation you cannot just blame anybody or pick anybody just to satisfy the need of the hour.”

Meanwhile, the Home Minister on Wednesday has sought the cooperation of traditional institutions and citizens for helping the state government to keep a check on illegal coal mining in the state.

“We need the cooperation of the people including the dorbar shnong as many of the places are located in the interior (of these districts) which makes it very difficult for officers to reach in time…,” Rymbui told reporters.

According to him, it is also the responsibility of each and every citizen to fight against any illegalities in the state

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