Coal mine mishap: Meghalaya Govt. orders inquiry 

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Meghalaya government has ordered an inquiry into the coal mining accident which killed six labourers in East Jaintia Hills district even as 17 people have been detained for interrogation in connection with this case.

 “An FIR has already been filed and an inquiry will be set up into this matter,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters on Saturday.

 He said around 17 people were also picked up by police for interrogation to find out more details of what has happened.

 Asked if there is any illegal coal mining taking place, the chief minister said there are laws put in place for anybody who is indulging in illegal mining.

 “The MMDR Act is very strong about it. There is a five-year imprisonment in fact in this and therefore these rules and laws are made, so if anybody is involved in illegal mining, the government will take strict action against those people,” he said.

 On Congress’ blaming the MDA government for its inaction against the illegal mining of coal, Sangma however said, “As I said the action that has been done by the individuals who are involved in this, the action being done by the owners of the land, the inquiry is being done and as per law action will be taken against anybody who’s involved in illegal activities specially in illegal mining if it is there, action will be taken against them.”

 Regarding the alleged involvement of a minister’s brother, the chief minister however refused to comment by saying that he is yet to get details about the incident.

 At least six labourers from Assam were killed in a coal mining-related accident in East Jaintia Hills District on Thursday.

 The mishap took place at a mining place in Sorkari near Deinshalu and Rymbui village on Thursday afternoon. Two years ago, 15 miners were also trapped to death at an illegal coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan in the same district. 

 Five of the six deceased persons have been identified as Jilal Uddin (25) from Jalabad Karimganj, three brothers – Dilwar Hussain (35), Ali Hussain (40) and Mokbul Hussain – from Karimganj and Abdul Sabul (32) from Laborputa, Silchar, Cachar district.

 A criminal case has already been registered under Khliehriat police station and the investigation is on to nab the mine owner and the manager of the mine, who have been absconding since the time of the incident.