Shillong, March 1: Demanding a CBI inquiry into illegal coal mining and transportation,the MPCC president and Shillong MP, Vincent Pala said the matter is so serious that even the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya had visited East Jaintia Hills to assess the situation.
“It is not just allegation, illegal coal mining is going on and I came to know that even the Chief Justice recently visited East Jaintia Hills to understand the situation”, Pala told reporters on Tuesday.
To a question on special investigation team (SIT) to probe the matter, Pala said that instead of SIT, there should be a CBI probe into the matter as what the people demand is an independent investigation.
He also deplored the existence of illegal check-gates all over the state.
Earlier, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui told reporters that shortage of police personnel is an obstacle to prevent illegal coal mining in the state.
“Every now and then the people are talking about this. Having said that the government is trying to do its best to stop all the illegalities in the state,” Rymbui said.
The minister said there is a shortage of about 1,800 personnel in the department. “With this shortage, it is not possible for the police to do everything,” he said.
The department will be advertising over 148 posts.
Earlier, the NGT wanted the state government to take up with the Centre to deploy central forces to comtrol illegal mining.
In response to a query in this regard, the home minister said it will be costly to maintain the central forces.
When asked, Rymbui said he cannot rule out whether there is a nexus between militants and coal businessmen.
“I don’t have the report with me that there is nexus but in all criminalities you cannot rule out anything but as I said there is no report till date which shows that.,” he said. chakma
According to Rymbui, criminals will join hands with fellow criminals wherever they are.
On the allegation that there are militant groups moving around in coal rich areas of West Khasi Hills District, the home minister said that the police have no knowledge about this till now.
“However, we will deal firmly if there are any such groups or anybody who are helping those groups whoever may be,” he said.
The home minister added that the department is trying to take action against illegal check gates .