Friday, December 8, 2023

Police launch inquiry after bags of coal found in SGH


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BAGHMARA, Aug 6: An inquiry by the police department of South Garo Hills (SGH) has been lodged after a huge quantity of coal packed into gunny bags and apparently meant for transport to Bangladesh through the Simsang river was detected in the town of Baghmara in SGH.
As per sources, the coal packed in the bags is generally sent to Bangladesh through makeshift rafts. The coal that is sent is generally procured from the bed of the river and flows through the year. However, the volumes are greater during the winter months, though these are available through the year.
Early this morning, pictures of the packed coal went viral with many from the region questioning the authorities on what exactly was taking place.
Earlier, when contacted, Border Security Force (BSF) officials confirmed that there have been no coal seizures in the past few days. However, they explained the modus operandi.
“Coal is picked from the river beds and packed into bags. These are then collected and when there is enough for sending across to Bangladesh, they inform their parties there and send these bags through using makeshift boats or rafts. We have been vigilant and have been able to apprehend a lot of these, but these smugglers use the night to make their move,” informed a BSF official on condition of anonymity.
However in the present case, the coal as per the police inquiry, was seized in the month of July and has been kept for safekeeping near the Simsang river. The coal had been seized by the BSF before it was handed over to the police for further necessary action.
“After we received complaints, an inquiry into why these coal bags were present near the river bank, was launched. Upon inquiry it has been found that these were seized coals from last month,” informed Superintendent of Police, SGH, Rithuraj Ravi S, putting to end all the current speculation.
Two days ago, the state government had submitted a preliminary report in the Meghalaya High Court on the origin of coal lying in Gasuapara, which also fall under South Garo Hills, after being directed by the court to prepare the same.
However, the petitioner, Champer Sangma, a local exporter from Gasuapara, had insinuated that the particulars indicated in the report are “demonstrably false”.
The court told him to refer to such content in the report to substantiate the insinuation.
The state, on the other hand, informed the court that the preliminary report was filed within a short time pursuant to the directions issued on July 19 this year and that the “state wishes to use a more detailed affidavit enclosing the documents that would belie the petitioner’s claim.”

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