SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said that his government would soon petition the Supreme Court to call off the rescue operation in the illegal rat-hole mine in the State’s East Jaintia Hills district where 16 miners were trapped since December 13 last year.
Informing reporters here, Conrad said, “We have decided to appeal to the Supreme Court to call off the rescue operation.”
According to the Chief Minister, the ground situation in the flooded coal mine was difficult even as he added the rescue operations is still on as per the order of the apex court.
He however said that his government was optimistic that the bodies of the trapped miners can still be retrieved.
“This would at least allow the family members to complete their last rites,” he said.
Meanwhile, on allegations of illegal transportation of coal still going on despite the NGT ban, the Chief Minister stated that the government would not allow any illegal coal mining activities.
“After the incident which took place in Ksan, we had immediately set up committees in every district to look on the issue of illegal mining and to closely monitor activities which are going on,” he said.
Conrad also said that many cases has been registered against persons involved in illegal coal mining and transportation and a lot of people have been arrested for the same.
The Chief Minister also said that the government was looking at national laws which are more stringent to book people indulging in illegal coal mining activities. “People who were arrested for indulging in illegal mining were book under the various provisions of the CrPC. But we are looking at national laws which are more stringent to book people indulging in illegal mining activities. But this is not an easy task,” Conrad said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said that his government is committed to protect the interest of the indigenous people of the State even as he urged that Inner Line Permit (ILP) should not be made an issue.
“What is of utmost importance is that we should not make ILP an issue but the matter here is to protect the indigenous people of the State.
According to Conrad, ILP is only an option which can be used even as he added that the State Government is looking at the best possible mechanism to address the problem of influx and illegal immigrants.
The Chief Minister also informed that the Cabinet would soon meet to deliberate the proposed amendment of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016.
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