MDA govt ready to face CBI probe

Irregularities in coal transportation in state

SHIILLONG: The state government has welcomed the decision of the Lokayukta to direct Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate into the alleged illegal transportation of coal from the state.
Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that there is no question of government being not happy with the inquiry as the matter about illegal transportation of coal is being discussed and talked about since 2014 till date.
“We welcome the inquiry and it is good that people will know the truth,” the deputy chief minister said.
Maintaining that no one can say that the government is involved till the CBI inquiry into the matter gets over, he added that the government has no problem in cooperating with the CBI when the central agency investigates into the matter.
According to Tynsong, it is also a fact that seized coal was auctioned by the government 3-4 times in the past and there was movement of coal trucks when the seized coal was auctioned by the government.
As per report, Suraj Joshi, the Special Assistant to Home Minister James Sangma, Secretary, Mining and Geology department, the SP and DC of East Jaintia Hills are among those against whom the Meghalaya Lokayukta wanted action following a petition on illegalities in coal and betel nut transportation.
The petitioner, Abhijit Basumatary, mentioned PS instead of Special Assistant to the home minister in his letter to Lokayukta which, however, was clarified by Meghalaya Stenographers Service Association.
The association said the short form of PS is used as private secretary to ministers and IAS officers officially appointed by the state government.
The Lokayukta had demanded the removal of several Meghalaya officials to facilitate a fair probe by the CBI into the illegal coal racket.
The CBI was asked to submit the preliminary report within 15 days.
Tynsong maintained that the Chief Minister himself had directed all the SPs and DCs to be vigilant and alert all the time to act against illegal coal transportation.
 “We welcome the order of the Lokayukta and let people understand that our government has nothing to do with illegal transportation of coal,” Tynsong said.
When asked if there were serious lapses on the part of the government to check illegal coal transportation all these years, Tynsong denied the allegations saying even he is blamed of being involved in the transportation of illegal coal and hence he welcomes the inquiry.
“We have instructed all the SPs and DCs to check it but if they don’t do now, we have reached a stage where inquiry will take place. Let the truth come out,” he said.
According to the petition filed by Basumatary, the names of persons allegedly involved in the anomalies are from Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura. The petitioner had mentioned the names of officials posted in various land customs stations in Meghalaya for their alleged involvement in the coal racket since 2015.
The petitioner had also revealed the names of officials posted in Khliehriat police station and Umkiang check gate, East Jaintia Hills for their alleged role in illegal transportation of coal.
The petitioner highlighted misuse of fund and revenue of Meghalaya and Central governments in the name of export of coal and betel nuts from East Jaintia Hills district to Barak Valley and Guwahati as 400 trucks per day were transporting coal and betel nuts without producing any valid legal documents since 2015 violating the order of the Supreme Court with the help of police personnel, civil administration and Mining and Geology department of Meghalaya.
The petitioner said that he had made several complaints to the CBI and other concerned departments for taking proper action and inquiry into the scam.

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