A coal miner, Siswilfor Dkhar, who lost a leg in a rat-hole mining accident, has received death threats for becoming a whistleblower and exposing illegal coal mining in Jaintia Hills.
Activist Agnes Kharshiing, who was contacted by the frightened former miner, has filed an FIR at the Lad Rymbai Police Outpost to demand the arrest of the three people who had threatened Dkhar.
She also insisted on police protection for Dkhar and his family, who live in Musniang, East Jaintia Hills.
A copy of the FIR was sent to the Director General of Police as well.
In the complaint, Kharshiing said that three people – Wanki Siangshai, Firstlyone Rymbai and Kordan Siangshai – threatened Dkhar for exposing coalmining activities in the district.
Dkhar’s testimony is yet another indication that illegal coal mining is taking place in the state, despite denials of those in power.
It is expected that the matter will now be brought up with the National Green Tribunal or the Supreme Court, which have banned and upheld bans respectively on rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya.