Sunday, March 3, 2024

Mukul sees ‘enough evidence’ for an FIR

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Nov 28: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday said the state government should file an FIR and register a case in connection with the illegal mining of coal and its illegal transportation.
TMC Parliamentary Party leader and former Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma said there is enough prima facie evidence suggesting the illegal activities.
“There is no point beating around the bush. They should file an FIR and register a case,” he said, reacting to the recent interim report of Justice (retired) BP Katakey submitted before the High Court of Meghalaya.
The report said there is no letup in illegal coal mining and its illegal transportation.
Sangma said protecting the interests of the people and the state revolves around the authorities and therefore, there should be an investigation to find out if there is any criminal conspiracy to allow these illegalities of such a scale.
He stressed that there should be some logical conclusion to the High Court’s suo moto cognisance of the illegal activities.
“Have I not told the whole world that 32 lakh metric tonnes of inventoried coal – a figure submitted by the state government before the Supreme Court – does not exist anymore?” Sangma said.
“Coal cannot fly on its own but it has disappeared. Everybody knows what is happening. Whichever truck carrying coal turns turtle, the quantum of illegalities is reflective of the pre-determined intent to give patronage by the authorities concerned for reasons best known to them,” the TMC stalwart said.
Recalling his earlier statement that he would quit politics if the 32 lakh metric tonnes of coal is still present in the state, he said, “I have not quit politics because it is not there. It has been validated by this report.”
“The MMDR Act is very clear. Section 21 of MMDR Act is a cognizable offence, so if it is a cognizable offence, who is required to register a case? Who is supposed to bell the cat? Therefore, the citizens should go and file a case,” Sangma said.
He also said that he had earlier written to the then Chief Secretary MS Rao pertaining to a particular case of disappearance of coal in West Jaintia Hills but no action was taken by the latter.
He said based on his letter when the Lokayukta issued an order, the Cabinet sat because for the state government to allow the Central Bureau of Investigation to take any case requires vetting by the cabinet.
“So, what was the decision of the cabinet?” he asked.
He showed a picture on his mobile phone, claiming that illegal mining of coal is going on in Garo Hills.

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