Owner of coal quarry held in Meghalaya after one miner dies, another sustains injuries

  • | Saturday | 20th August, 2022

Shillong, Aug 20 (PTI) The owner of an illegal coal quarry in Meghalaya"s West Khasi Hills district, a part of which collapsed earlier in the week leading to the death of a miner, has been arrested, the police said on Saturday.The mine, located inside the jungles adjoining Urak village, is accessible only after a two-hour journey on foot, district superintendent of police HG Lyngdoh said.Two persons, who had entered the coal mine on Thursday night, got trapped inside after a portion of the quarry collapsed, he said.One of them, Lependro Sangma (32), died inside the mine, while the other person Hendid Momin (33), was rescued on Friday.Momin, who is said to have sustained serious injuries, is undergoing treatment at a hospital, the SP stated.“We have arrested the mine owner, Hubath R Sangma, a resident of Songsak Gurakalam village in Shallang area. The police seized about 7-8 tonne of coal, shovels and pickaxes from the mine,” Lyngdoh told PTI.According to the SP, the miners, both residents of North Garo Hills, had entered the quarry "on being instructed by the owner".The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in 2014 banned unscientific mining and transportation of coal in Meghalaya for the safety of miners and environmental protection.The Supreme Court had in July 2019 lifted the ban.Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had in March informed the assembly that scientific coal mining was expected to start in the state this year. PTI JOP RMS RMS

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