Police have confirmed the death of three coal mine workers in East Jaiñtia Hills district after being reported by Highland Post on January 10.
Three people belonging to Musniang Rim and Musniang villages died in a hidden mine tragedy at Rymbai.
One of them as per sources was identified as Ten Siangshai and the other two belonged to the Dkhar clan.
Police said Siangshai’s family has been identified and their statements are being recorded and are in the process of identifying other families.
According to the police, the probe team is ascertaining the facts and are in the process of investigation.
An official statement from the East Jaiñtia Hills Superintendent of Police is also awaited on the incident.
The district police had taken suo-moto case on the coal mine tragedy even as it is not known how the coal miners died inside the illegal mine.
What becomes difficult to gather information on the incident is people don’t come forward to speak about it. The rat hole mining areas are shrouded in secrecy and fear. As illegal mining goes on, a kind of omerta law prevails in the Jaiñtia Hills region as anyone talking about it could get targeted as it has happened in the past.
According to sources, mining has been going on in the area despite a ban by the Meghalaya high court and a National Green Tribunal court. Coal-related activities are happening along Rymbai to Umsatai, Pynurkba, Bataw route till Umlangsha and Lakadong towards Borghat, sources added.
In April 2014, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned rat-hole coal mining and the Meghalaya high court too issued an order in this regard.
It may be mentioned that the High Court had came down very hard on the administration and directed specifically the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to not bow to any political interference while implementing its order to completely arrest illegal coal mining in the State.