Shillong, July 12: A crude bomb exploded inside a makeshift camp of coal miners in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district today, killing a migrant labourer from Assam and injuring nine miners.
Police sources said the bomb was lobbed inside the camp set up in the Rasong mining area under Khliehriat subdivision around 2am.
The area is around 100km from this capital city. The camp belongs to one Niwell Lyngdoh.
“A coal miner died on the spot while nine others sustained injuries when an unidentified person lobbed a crude bomb inside their makeshift camp,” a police official said. The miner was identified as Pintu Das, 26, from Cachar district in Assam.
The injured are Md Twahir Ali (46), Ranjit Rai (7), Roti Rai (35), Md Sayab Uddin (26), Md Hassan Ali (20), Md Jainal Uddin (20), Md Moinidul Mia (21), Md Aieg Uddin (22) and Md Abdul Hussain (31).
Two of the injured were shifted to the civil hospital in the district headquarters of Jowai while some others were taken to Silchar.
Some were discharged after being treated for minor injuries.
“We suspect this is a case of rivalry between coal mine supervisors. Investigations are on and we will get to the bottom of the incident,” a police source said, adding that senior police officials had gone to the spot to take stock of the situation. This is not the first time that coal miners have come under attack in the mineral-rich state.
In April last year, a group of armed men indiscriminately fired at the Goka coal dumping area in South Garo Hills district, killing five labourers and seriously injuring one.
Today’s incident comes at a time when the coal-trading season has waned in view of the monsoon.
However, trucks are ferrying residual coal extracted before the onset of the rains.
It also comes at a time when efforts are on to rescue 15 coal miners trapped inside a mine in South Garo Hills district because of allegedly unscrupulous mining practices.