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Akhil plea for coal probe

“Police officers and cabinet ministers are helping those involved with coal syndicates” — Akhil Gogoi

By Abinash Kalita in Guwahati

  • Published 14.11.19, 12:05 AM
  • Updated 14.11.19, 12:05 AM
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti adviser Akhil Gogoi
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti adviser Akhil Gogoi (File photo)

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Wednesday accused the state government of being involved in the alleged coal syndicate and demanded a CBI inquiry.

“Police officers and cabinet ministers are helping those involved with coal syndicates. The BJP-government came to power by promising zero-tolerance against corruption but after coming to power, its leaders are getting involved in the coal syndicate. The Tinsukia administration is aiding and abetting the coal mafia, which is destroying pristine jungles along the Arunachal Pradesh border through illegal coal mining. They have been plundering the 11 reserve forests and Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary in Tinsukia district. Hundreds of rat-hole mines have sprung up,” alleged KMSS adviser Akhil Gogoi.

“Since Coal India deals with coal trade, we want a thorough inquiry into the alleged syndicates. There are written complaints over these syndicates carrying out illegal mining and transportation but no step has been taken to check them. The directorate of geology and mining has observed largescale theft of coal in Tinsukia district and submitted names of suspected persons to the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police on March 12. There are 19 names in the letter but no action has been initiated. Many FIRs have also been lodged in various police stations in Tinsukia,” he added.

Akhil said the KMSS student wing, Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti, had collected photos and videos of illegal mining in Margherita and Ledo in Tinsukia district. “The police personnel collect fees from those running the illegal mining sites — Rs 30 per coal bag and Rs 500 from pick-up vans,” he alleged. He shared the photos and videos with the media on Tuesday.

Akhil appealed to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take action and threatened to protest in front of his residence at Kharguli soon.

“We demand that the government order a CBI inquiry into the illegal coal trade and nab the officials involved in the business,” he said.

The Opposition Congress on Tuesday said an order issued by Karimganj deputy commissioner had revealed that syndicates of different commodities were active.

The ruling BJP dared the KMSS to submit evidence, if any, before Gauhati High Court, which is hearing a case on the alleged coal syndicate.

BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, “Akhil Gogoi is a professional agitator. Gauhati High Court has already taken up a suo motu case on the alleged syndicate. If anyone has evidence, they should go to the court.”

Coal truck seized: A coal-laden 14-wheeler truck, travelling from Meghalaya to Assam, was intercepted near Basistha Chariali here on Wednesday for allegedly carrying coal without any valid documents.

The truck was intercepted based on intelligence inputs by police personnel. The truck is registered in the name of one Satyaki Dey, a resident of Burdwan in West Bengal. He has been asked to provide valid documents related to the consignment too.

The truck was intercepted because massive amount of coal is being smuggled.

Additional reporting by Mohsin Khaiyam

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