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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said that more than 17 people have been picked up by the police for interrogation in connection with the death of six miners at an illegal coal mine in East Jaintia Hills.
According to Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills, E. Kharmalki the tragedy occurred due to a mechanical malfunctioning at the tri-junction of Dienshalalu near Rymbai on Thursday, January 21.
“There are some more people who are still on the move. I am yet to get the full report on the investigation of this case,” Sangma told reporters.
He, however, made it very clear that action will be taken against anyone who is involved in illegal activities especially in illegal coal mining.
“We have already lodged an FIR. We are going to institute an inquiry into this matter,” the Chief Minister informed.
To a question whether that the death of the six miners is an indication that illegal coal mining is still continuing, Sangma said that there are laws which are put in place to deal with illegal coal mining.
“As per the Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, people who are indulging in illegal coal mining are liable to five years imprisonment,” he added.
Earlier, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui informed that according to prima facie report, it seems there was an accident with the crane which was used in mining, but the exact report is yet to be received.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)