Wednesday, February 21, 2024

EJH coal illegalities: Panel nudges SP to expedite inquiry

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Discovery of fresh coal dumps at Byndihati

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 12: The Justice (retired) BP Katakey-headed one-member committee, constituted by the High Court of Meghalaya, suggested issuing a direction to the Superintendent of Police of East Jaintia Hills district for ensuring early completion of the probe into the case involving freshly-mined coal found dumped beside the Don Bosco College, Byndihati.
The committee had detected the coal during a field visit in November last year and subsequently, a case was registered with the Khliehriat police station.
In its 20th interim report submitted before the High Court, the committee said Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of East Jaintia Hills district, vide his report dated 15/12/2023, submitted to the DC stated about the availability of the coal, the owners of which are not known.
The ADC said the coal, which appeared to be freshly-mined, was seized and as informed by the DC, the scope of investigation into the case is extended to the coal found beside the Don Bosco College and uphill also, the interim report of Justice Katakey committee said. The approximate quantity of the coal in the said area was estimated to be 8697.392 MT.
Through a communication dated 04/01/2024, the SP informed the Assistant Inspector General of Police (A) about the details of investigation so far.
As a part of the probe, samples from the seized coal were collected and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Shillong, for expert opinion. The report is awaited, the interim report stated.
An order, passed by the Special Judge, MMDR Act, Khliehriat, was mentioned for the shifting of the seized coal to a safer place.
The committee recommended the issuance of direction to the SP for ensuring early completion of the probe so that those guilty can be dealt with under the law urgently.
On action taken on the under-construction weighbridge set up behind the Don Bosco College, the report said the DC apprised the committee about the conduct of an enquiry by the Assistant Commissioner and submission of a report, based on which necessary actions were said to have been initiated.
The committee was also apprised about the issuance of a notice to the owner of the weighbridge for demolition of the same and in the event of failure to do so, it would be demolished by the district administration.
The committee recommended the submission of a report by the DC about the final action taken on the weighbridge within a fortnight.

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