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Govt tells people to defy strike

Shillong, Aug. 5: The Meghalaya government has exhorted the people to defy the dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by State Co-ordination Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealers Forum tomorrow.

The Forum on Sunday announced the shutdown, which will be observed across the state tomorrow from sunrise till sunset, to protest against the alleged nonchalant attitude of the Mukul Sangma government over the ban on “rat-hole” coal mining.

The government said it was committed to sort out the issue and reiterated that all necessary steps were taken, and further steps would be taken to resolve the issue relating to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on coal mining in the state.

On Friday, the tribunal had not only rapped the committee, which it had constituted on June 9, but also disbanded it before announcing the formation of a fresh committee to carry out the tasks.

Among others, the committee had failed to frame requisite guidelines for transportation of extracted coal in accordance with the NGT order. It had also “delegated” its powers to various departments and authorities, which it was not entitled to do.

Although the committee was constituted by the tribunal, the officials were mainly drawn from the state government.

“Resorting to any form of agitation now would only jeopardise the life and property of the citizens and create further unnecessary tension in the minds of the people,” an official communiqué stated.

However, the government had warned that persons calling the shutdown would be held responsible for any damages/loss caused to public/private property during the period of agitation under the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order Act and would be liable to compensate any loss.

It also said it would maintain law and order at all cost so that the security of its citizens was not compromised.

“Members of the public in general and the government employees in particular are requested not to pay any heed to this unreasonable call and to come out as they would on any normal working day and carry on with their daily activities,” the communiqué said.

It also informed that all government offices/establishments would function normally tomorrow.


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