SHILLONG, Jan 25: Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Monday said that the government would not spare anyone indulging in illegal coal mining even as he avoided reacting to the BJP’s demand for Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui’s resignation following the deaths of six workers in a coal pit in East Jaintia Hills district.
Tynsong said that he did not know who was indulging in illegal coal mining activities in the district. “I am made to understand that the place where illegal activity took place is far away from the villages,” he said.
Issuing a strong warning that the government will not spare anyone indulging in illegal activities of coal mining, he said that the government over the years had instructed the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to be more vigilant and act against any illegality.
“Illegalities happen everywhere but once it is detected, the law will take its own course,” he said, while reiterating that an FIR pertaining to the incident has been already filed and several people have also been picked up in this connection.
Citing an example, he said that robbery takes place or threats are issued everywhere “but it does not mean that the government is backing such illegal activities.” “We are here to protect people but some people jump into a conclusion that the government is a part of it and this is wrong,” Tynsong added.
Allegations of illegal mining and transportation of coal from time to time has put the state government on the back foot.
There are charges that when instances of illegal mining and transportation of coal surfaces in the state, the state government time shifts the responsibility of curbing the activities on the district administration.
Taking cognizance of the complaints, Opposition Congress and BJP, an ally of the MDA, have time and again demanded an independent probe into the matter.
However, the state government has all the while maintained that “the allegations are baseless and there was no illegal mining going on in the state.”