Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui has hit out at some ministers for alleging the UDP’s involvement in the illegal transportation of coal.

Rymbui said the allegation has been hurled at just to divert the attention of the public from the much-talked Cabinet reshuffle, likely to take place in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.

The home minister, who is from the United Democratic Party (UDP), an ally of the MDA, said trucks transporting coal based on legal documents cannot be detained, and trucks ferrying coal without documents are illegal.

“I have full faith in the police department and my officers,” the home minister said.

On allegations that UDP is involved in illegal transportation of coal, Rymbui reacted saying, “Maybe this allegation was hurled at the UDP to divert the attention of the people because the UDP will not reshuffle its ministers, whereas some of them are discussing and making internal arrangement to replace the ministers.”

“I could see that the allegation was only to the divert the attention of the public from the most likely Cabinet reshuffle. It may be true, or not true (cabinet reshuffle), but there is an internal arrangement among them,” Rymbui said.

On Tuesday, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong defended that not all coal trucks are ferrying coal illegally.

“We are issuing challans to transport only seized coal. Therefore, we cannot say all trucks plying are illegal as some of them ply with legal papers,” Tynsong had stated.

“However, there are also some without legal papers, and that is why a clear instruction has been issued to the deputy commissioners and superintendent of police in this regard,” he said.

Tynsong had led a delegation of a group of ministers to the chief minister Conrad K Sangma after they alleged that illegal transportation of coal resurfaced in the state.

On September 10, the state mining and geology department had issued an order related to a scheme which was framed for rewarding an informant Rs 5,000 each for providing credible information directly leading to the seizure of coal or vehicles carrying illegal coal.

“The scheme regulates and grants payment of reward to the informants providing specific information on incidences of illegal mining or transportation of coal on the Centralized Helpline Number 1800-345-3846 (Toll-Free), or to the nearby Police Station, to the person-in-charge of check gate under the DMR or to the divisional mining officer or to any other competent authority,” the order said.

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