A Jaiñtia Hills-based pressure group, the East Jaiñtia National Council (EJNC), has made serious allegations that the people involved in illegal coal mining at Deiñchalalu, near Rymbai, in East Jaiñtia Hills are people very close to the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.
Speaking about the fallout of the Rymbai mining disaster on January 21, in which six labourers died in an accident in an illegal mine, the EJNC said that the MDA is trying to crush the poor by arresting 17 labourers and managers while the “main culprit involved in this illegality is still free.”
“What have the police done to Lar Bareh when it was revealed that he is the mine owner?” EJNC leader Sambormi Lyngdoh said at a press conference today. “We want to know if they have arrested him or taken him into custody, besides Bison Shylla and Tiewli Shadap, who are also involved in illegal coal mining.”
It had appeared in the press that labourers at the mine had said that it was run by cabinet minister Kyrmen Shylla’s brother, Bison. Yesterday, kin of mine accident victims pinned ownership on Bareh.
“We are shocked that the MDA is still trying to wash its hands of the matter when we are certain that these two people – Bison and Shadap – have very close connections to the MDA government,” Lyngdoh said. “It is unbelievable that Bareh, who is the coal mine owner, will not know that a coal pit was dug 100 feet deep on his land with all the activities and labourers there.”