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Govt stopped Lokayukta probe into illegal coal mining: Mukul

Shillong, March 3: The Opposition Leader, Mukul Sangma has slammed the NPP-led MDA government for derailing the independent probe into illegal coal trade ordered by the Lokayukta.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday after the meeting of AITC legislators on the eve of the Budget session, Mukul said unless a special inquiry is ordered, the people involved in illegal coal mining and transportation will get away as this is a well scripted modus operandi.

“I am happy for judiciary for its intervention. I had written a letter to chief secretary, NGT and Lokayukta with a copy to the High Court. But the state government tried to stall the probe. I was happy when Lokayukta had ordered  a detailed inquiry but the government derailed  this.

Earlier, the Lokayukta had ordered a CBI inquiry into illegal coal mining and it’s transportation but the government filed a petition in the High Court against the move.

After the attack on social activists Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma, there was a demand for independent probe but the government rejected it.

“Tell me what did the government do when Agnes and Amita were attacked after they were against illegal mining and transportation”, Mukul asked.

‘Govt on denial mode’

According to Mukul, the government is on a  denial mode while the illegal mining activities are rampant.  “There is a prima facie case and it is a cognizable offence but the government is acting like a defender,” he said.

Mukul said the government has no interest in serving the interest of the state. “They (NPP) should not presume that they will be in power in 2023 but they are desperate to be in power and the desperation is visible in openly poaching the members and this is complete reflection to be in power in 2023”, he said.

‘Will resign if coal of 30 lakh metric tonnes is found’

Mukul questioned as to what happened to the 32 lakh metric tonnes of coal as declared by the state government. “Auction was allowed only for 2  lakh metric tonnes and  30 lakh metric tonnes should be available as per the inventory, I repeat that if the quantity of coal as per inventory is found, I will quit as MLA as I know that coal as per inventory is all gone and this has affected the revenue generation”, he said.

Look at the coal bearing districts, fresh mining is going on . There is no end to illegal mining and those who are involved have no fear, Mukul added.

‘Childish statement’

The Opposition leader has termed as childish the statement of Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui that there is a shortage of manpower to deal with illegal coal mining.

“This is a childish statement, if there is  shortage of manpower, why the government did not fill up the yearly vacancy which will come around 400”, Mukul said.

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