Another coal mine tragedy in EJH

Shillong, May 31: East Jaintia Hills police have registered a case against an incident of illegal coal mining which led to five persons losing their lives after being trapped inside a mine in the district.
Three of the five missing persons have been identified as Abdul Karim from Boko, Assam, Abdul Kalam from Barpeta, Assam and Shyamcharan Debbarma from Tripura while the two unidentified persons are said to be from Silchar, Assam.
District police were able to identify the probable location of incident at 6 am today while acting on information received from the Superintendent of Police, Silchar that about 6 mine workers being trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills on the night of May 30.
Police took time to identify the probable site due to inclement weather, poor night light condition and non-availability of any eye witness account.
Higher authorities were appraised about the probable incident and in collaboration with district administration a search and rescue operation was launched. State Disaster Response Team also reached the probable location of incident thereafter.
District police chief Jagpal Singh Dhanoa said while the search and rescue operation was on under the supervision of Inspector General of Police (Law & Order), six persons came forward at 5 pm today with eye witness account of the events that transpired yesterday.
“As per eye witnesses account due to the sudden explosion of dynamite, five persons got trapped in the sudden rush of water into the mine. Within no time the mine was inundated,” he said.
The SP also said that the witnesses have informed that the main accused for the crime is the Sordar, Nizam Ali who did nothing to rescue the trapped labourers. Rather Nizam Ali threatened the survivors with dire consequences and chased them away from the mining site.
Based on their account, a FIR has been registered at Khliehriat police station.
“The survivors are being looked after by police to ensure their security. Further, investigation is on and no stone is being left unturned to arrest the Sordar,” Singh said.
He further informed that till filing of this report one person has been detained for questioning while adding that this person has tested positive for Covid-19 and is being kept under guard at the isolation centre in Khliehriat.