SHILLONG, Feb 27: The state BJP has urged the state government and all political parties to ensure that the reports due to be submitted to the High Court of Meghalaya by the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police on illegal rat-hole mining in Nengchigen village are not marred by political interference.
The court had taken suo motu cognizance of a report published in The Shillong Times on illegal rat-hole mining in Nengchigen village in West Khasi Hills and had directed the Chief Secretary and DGP to inspect the site and file independent reports by March 2.
“We appeal to the government and all political parties not to interfere into this matter. Let them submit the reports,” state BJP president Ernest Mawrie said on Sunday, while adding that if the court is unsatisfied it might even set up an independent inquiry or maybe even a CBI probe.
Mawrie also said it was time the government came out clean on allegations of illegal coal mining and transportation since many incidents have occurred where lives have been lost.
“Till date we have been receiving reports of coal-laden trucks plying in the state but the government has been stating that they were transporting auctioned coal. I do not know how true this is,” he wondered.
Echoing the BJP chief, the United Democratic Party (UDP) asserted that it cannot turn a blind eye to the allegations of illegal mining and transportation of coal and the suo motu cognizance taken by the High Court.
“We will welcome any inquiry and it is good for the public to know what is going on. Let the government respond to the direction of the court,” party’s general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said on Sunday.
“There has been lot of hue and cry on illegal mining and transportation of coal. As a responsible party, we are concerned about the issue and we would want things to be out in the open.”
He also made it clear that the party has, time and again, raised its voice against illegalities.
“If everybody is saying it then how can we turn a blind eye? We cannot say there is nothing. We have to raise our voice,” Mawthoh contended.
The opposition All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has already urged the High Court to investigate the money laundering angle apart from the illegal coal trade in the state.
Appreciating the court for taking suo motu cognizance of The Shillong Times report on illegal rat-hole mining, the AITC had alleged that the government, since taking over, was making concerted efforts to cover all illegalities.
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