KSU opposes probe into uranium leakage by varsities

MAWKYRWAT: Following the state’s decision to task two Northeastern varsities — Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) — to study the reports of alleged blast and leakage in uranium effluent tanks in South West Khasi Hills, the Khasi Students’ Union has decided not to accept the probe undertaken by the “dependent agencies” reckoning that “facts can be hidden”.
“These universities are already on one side and we are sure that there will be a ‘remote control’ to direct them so that the facts can be hidden,” president of the KSU South West Khasi Hills District, Forwardman Nongrem, said in a statement on Friday.
The Union said it does not trust NEHU since it is funded and managed by the Centre. “We also know that the various departments from NEHU have since 2002 assisted the government in researches, through funds provided by the Department of Atomic Energy, Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), Mumbai and the Babha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which are activities intended to manipulate the truth so as to facilitate Uranium mining in the area. Besides, the University still depends on those funds as it does not possess standard labs to carry out the investigation,” Nongrem said.
He further alleged that during 2002-06, NEHU had carried out a research funded by the Centre just to pave way for uranium mining in South West Khasi Hills.
With regard to IIT-Guwahati, Nongrem was of the opinion that it is a “dependent” and not an “independent” agency for the same the reason as NEHU — it is funded by the Centre.
“We will not accept the so-called independent investigation (only for namesakes) while their works show otherwise,” he said, while also warning the government to not understand the people’s patience as ignorance.

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