Developed By: iNFOTYKE
The Meghalaya Lokayukta recently released a list of police officials involved in the illegal mining and transportation of coal from different districts of Meghalaya, but, mainly from East Jaintia Hills. Names of other officials such as those from the District Administration, the Directorate of Mineral Resources (DMR) etc., have also featured but what should concern the people of Meghalaya is that the law keepers have themselves turned deviant. Illegal coal mining and transportation has carried on since 2014 under many pretexts; the principal one being that coal already mined before the April 2014 NGT ban has to be transported to prevent loss to the mine owners. Things climaxed when 15 miners were trapped in a flooded mine in East Jaintia Hills on December 13, 2018 after which rescue operations failed majorly to rescue the miners. Only two bodies could be retrieved by the Indian Navy after much effort and resources being pulled in from several quarters.
This matter reached the Supreme Court when a Delhi-based lawyer took up the case on humanitarian grounds. The Supreme Court had given clear instructions about how the inhuman rat hole mining must be discontinued and the already mined coal (which incidentally kept appearing day after day) should be auctioned by Coal India Ltd. The State was also censured and told to come up with a comprehensive Mining Policy before coal mining could be resumed. This remains an unfulfilled task both of the Congress- led MUA Government and the present MDA Government. The reasons we are made to believe is that mechanized mining is not viable (in other words not profitable to the miners).
Many questions need to be answered by the Police Department, especially by the Police Chief. Could the police officials be so deeply involved in facilitating the illegal transportation of coal without the knowledge of the higher- ups in the Department, particularly the Police Chief and the Home Minister? What is even more tragic is that the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Home Minister has also been named by the Lokayukta for being involved in this murky business. How can so many police officials be involved in corruption at the personal level without being punished for their crimes? Were they simply carrying out orders from their higher-ups? Is that not open collusion and therefore equally venal? What action does the Lokayukta propose to take if and when the CBI enquiry reveals who the perpetrators of this daylight robbery are? Clearly those found guilty should be dismissed and the Police Department cleansed of filth. As it is some high-ranking police officers have entrenched themselves in the Headquarters for over a decade and developed vested interests. Matters have come to such a pass that officers not given to corruption are now completely demoralized and are kicked around to inconsequential posts. This has to end sooner than later.