Money collected from illegal coal used for funding new outfits: Mukul

Shillong, Feb 15: Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma on Tuesday alleged that the money from the illegal coal trade is being used for funding people who are trying to float new militant outfits in the state.

“Out of these illegalities, many more other forces are getting funding including the group of people who are trying to float new militant outfits. There are already movements’ taking place,” Sangma told reporters.

He said with this easy money, such people are going to buy sophisticated arms and create the same kind of problems through which the state has gone through.

Sangma informed that he had flagged this issue earlier during internal discussion and meeting with the state government that illegality will always give access to easy money for those who want to raise war against the nation.

“It is dangerous. So, one has to understand the multiple negative ramifications that this kind of lack of governance and quantum of corruption that is taking place can lead the state to,” he asserted.

The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) leader has also shared video clippings of ongoing illegal mining and transportation of coal happening in the state and said he would soon give the same to the state government for taking cognizance of the matter.

He said rampant illegal mining and transportation of coal is happening with complete impunity and with no fear adding this means there is a malafide intention by the people in authority.

The Leader of Opposition said that the recent arrests of one coal trader Balwant Soni alias Bhama, along with four others from Guwahati, based on an FIR lodged by the Assam tax department for tax evasion of Rs 40 crore was just a tip of the iceberg.

He warned that if such illegalities are allowed to continue, the state will be bankrupt.

“People will have more and more tendency to engage in illegalities because they further get emboldened because of the stand the government has taken. The stand of the government to be deliberately in constant denial mode. You can ask the government of the day, you can ask the chief minister, I think there are many other stories which has come out in the recent past and preceding days, you ask CM, CM is also in-charge of Mining and Geology department and CM himself is also in-charge of Finance, CM himself is also in-charge of political department,” Sangma said.

Asking the government to stop such illegalities, the former chief minister said, “We must protect the state, we must defend the state. I am calling everyone to tell the government to stop this because you are talking about protecting the interest of the state to which we all belong.”

When asked if the AITC would demand for a CBI probe, Sangma however said, “If you expect the authorities who are responsible for emboldening all these illegalities that is happening how do you expect any evidence to be generated. They will come back and say nothing is happening. Now we have proved beyond reasonable doubt that this is happening and this is happening because of the kind of patronage being given by the people in authorities. Therefore, if the patronage is being given by the authorities how can you expect these authorities to actually do justice. Do you expect a thief to catch himself?”

He asserted that the law of the land must take its own course and protect the interest of the state and the people.

Stating that coal is not a state subject, the Leader of Opposition said that the Government of India is equally responsible to take cognizance of all these illegalities that are taking place in this part of the country.

“They cannot say the state government is not doing so they are all insulated from the responsibility, they are also equally responsible. To protect the interest of the state is the legal, constitutional and binding responsibility of any government and any authority under the government,” he stated.

 

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