Meghalaya HC
File picture of Meghalaya High Court.

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court has stated that it has become necessary to deploy central armed forces in the state to stop illegal coal mining.

The Meghalaya high court, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), has said that the central industrial security force (CISF) or the central reserve police force (CRPF) must be deployed in the state to take over policing of illegal coal mining activities.

The Meghalaya high court stated that the measures taken by the state government in regards to stopping illegal coal mining “have fallen woefully short”.

“…the measures adopted by the State have fallen woefully short, it is necessary to call in the central armed police forces to monitor and stop the illegal activities pertaining to coal mining that continues in the state,” a division bench headed by Meghalaya high court chief justice Sanjib Banerjee said.

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“Dr Mozika, learned Deputy-Solicitor General of India, who is present in Court, is requested to take notice on behalf of the Union and to inform this Court, when the matter appears a week hence as to the formalities for the immediate deployment of sufficient units of either the Central Industrial Security Force or the Central Reserve Police Force to completely take over the policing of illegal coal mining activities including the transportation thereof from the State machinery; obviously, at a cost that the State will have to bear for its abject inefficiency,” it said.

The Meghalaya high court said that large-scale unscientific mining of coal in the state may lead to disastrous consequences.

“Without intending to sound apocalyptic or seeking to toll the knell of an imminent doomsday, it takes no rocket science to realise that the recipe is ripe for disaster. The pot is on the boil and it is brewing a calamitous broth. Yet the lure of a quick buck prompts the sentinel to look the other way,” the Meghalaya high court observed.

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