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Attacked for Opposing Illegal Coal Mines in Meghalaya, Activist Accuses Powerful People for Scam

She has now urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and look into the case.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:December 28, 2018, 4:47 PM IST
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Attacked for Opposing Illegal Coal Mines in Meghalaya, Activist Accuses Powerful People for Scam
(L) NDRF team going Inside an illegal coal mine at Ksan in Saipung area in search of trapped workers and (R) Activist Agnes Kharshiing was brutally attacked on November 8 for fighting against illegal coal mining in Meghalaya.
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Kolkata: Meghalaya rights activist Agnes Kharshiing, who has been fighting against illegal coal mining, has alleged threats from ‘powerful people’ involved the in the racket. She has now urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and look into the case.

Kharshiing said, “Powerful people hire goons to work on their behalf and manage the illegal mines.” She said that she fears more attacks. “But I will continue to fight till this is stopped,” Kharshiing added. Kharshiing and her aide were attacked on November 8, allegedly by members of “coal mafia”.

“I request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally look in to the matter,” Kharshiing said, fearing attacks on her and her team members.

On December 13, around 15 mine workers were trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya after it was flooded by the adjacent Lytein River. The fate of the workers is still not known in the 400-feet deep cave.

Even as rescue operations are still underway, the chances of their survival seem to be very thin. The mine uses the ‘rat-hole technique’ at East Jaintia Hills has been banned by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2014.

“Several trucks loaded with illegally mined coal are plying across Meghalaya, but police does not take any action. Had it not been for the three boys trapped in the pit, the matter would have been hushed up,” she added.
| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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