'CID probe outcome must be made public'
GUWAHATI: At a time when there have been protests against the NBWL's (National Board for Wildlife) approval to coal mining in an area in Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, the AASU (All Assam Students' Union) has asked Dispur to come clear on the CID's inquiry into the alleged illegal mining of coal and its illegal transportation in the State.
It was on April 7, 2020 that the NBWL at its meeting through video conferencing in the presence of the Union Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate, had approved a coal mining project at Saleki, which is a part of Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve.
Talking to The Sentinel on Sunday, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, "There has been illegal coal mining in the State, mainly in upper Assam, over the years. The previous Congress government didn't take any action against it. And the present BJP-led coalition government at Dispur has also opted to look the other way. The police and the administration have also kept mum on the issue.
"The NBWL's approval to coal mining at Saleki in Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve is an anti-Assam decision on the part of the Central government. Such a decision will encourage illegal coal mining in the upper Assam districts.
"After coming to power at Dispur, the BJP-led government made public its avowed stand on zero tolerance against corruption. When the allegations of illegal mining and illegal transportation of coal surfaced, the State government ordered a CID inquiry into the allegations. The sad part of the episode is that the people of Assam have failed to get any fruitful outcome of the probe conducted by the CID. Maybe, the government will show the number of coal-laden trucks it has seized since the inquiry was ordered, to defend itself. The moot question, however, is – has the CID got into the roots of the issue, illegal coal mining and its illegal transportation? Who are the people involved in such an act? Let the State government make public the present status of the CID inquiry – if it has filed any charge sheet against anybody in the Court. If yes, against whom?"