SHILLONG, July 27: The officials of the Atomic Mineral Division (AMD) by-passed the district authorities before venturing into exploration work in Wahkaji, South West Khasi Hills. Three AMD officials were assaulted by unknown miscreants on Wednesday.
Wahkaji belt is considered as ‘security vulnerable area’ for AMD officials in view of the strong resistance from the pressure groups to the pending uranium exploration and extraction.
Speaking to The Sentinel, the Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) Swaraj Bir Singh admitted that the district police have no knowledge about the exploration exercises carried out by the AMD scientists in the site which is considered as sensitive in terms of security.
The Deputy Commissioner of South West Khasi Hills, Isawanda Laloo also echoed similar voice about the incident that occurred before she had rushed the Superintendent of Police and magistrates to the site.
The DGP held a meeting with the Regional Director, AMD S Hamiliton to discuss on the issue. “ I am told by the AMD regional Director that his officials have gone there on the invitation of the local population who own the land, in order to carry out a general survey work on the possible existence of other minerals,” the DGP stated, while admitting that the AMD went to the sensitive area without informing the State authorities.
“We have given an advisory that they should provide information to the government before venturing into such exercise for the sake of safety and security”, stated Swaraj Bir Singh. The three AMD injured officials including a senior scientist have been admitted to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Institute of Health and Medical Science (NEIGHRIHMS), Shillong. They are identified as S. Mukherjee, S. Das and S Sauorabh.
Asked on whether the perpetrators have been identified, the DGP said, “I’ll not disclose at the moment but there are leads and they will be picked up sooner or later.”