Shillong, Oct. 17: The presence of Bangladeshi illegal migrants in the coal-mining belt of Jaintia Hills came to the fore with the arrest of five persons by BSF personnel at Umkiang in East Jaintia Hills district yesterday.
The BSF apprehended Dilal Ahmed, Shafil Ahmed, Nizam Ahmed, Mohammad Barhuddin and Tajuddin while they were trying to cross over to Bangladesh. All the five hail from Sylhet district.
According to a BSF official, during preliminary questioning, the apprehended persons revealed that they were working in the coal mines near Khliehriat, which falls in the same district.
During the search, Rs 4,940, three mobile phones with three Indian and Bangla-deshi SIM cards each, and a fake identity card in the name of Rajimuddin, issued by circle and executive magistrate Kathigor (Cachar) dated August 10, 2009 were recovered from their possession.
The official added that from October 1 till now, the BSF in the Meghalaya frontier have apprehended 15 illegal migrants from along the international border. The apprehended persons and seized items have been handed over to the police.
The Meghalaya government has been inviting private parties to develop power projects in the state, while around 150 transformers in the Garo hills region have been left unrepaired for the past eight months by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).
In a letter to chief secretary W.M.S. Pariat, leader of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma today charged the corporation with neglecting the Garo hills region. “Close to 150 transformers are damaged and have not been repaired in the past eight months in the entire Garo hills. This is a complete act of negligence by the MeECL.”
According to a MeECL official, one of the reasons behind the frequent breakdown of transformers in Garo hills was the presence of several unaccounted for consumers. “Overloading takes place leading to the failure of the transformers.”