SC raps Meghalaya government over miners’ tragedy

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Meghalaya government what steps have been taken so far to rescue 15 miners, trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills since December 13 last year.

The state government has informed the Apex Court that 72 NDRF personnel, 14 Navy personnel, and Coal India personnel have been working since December 14, 2014, to rescue the trapped miners.

“Then, why are they not successful,” asked the Supreme Court, asserting that it was not satisfied with the rescue operations. “It is a very serious situation and the question of life and death of 15 coal miners,” said the Apex Court.

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“We are not satisfied. We do not know what happened to them in 18 days. We don’t know they are dead or alive. Something urgently must have been done. Can’t you (State) request Army? We read in the newspaper that the Army volunteered but they are not allowed,” the bench said.

At least 15 miners have been trapped in an illegal flooded coal mine in East Jaintia Hills since December 13 last year.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for petitioner told the court that all the units that are engaged in rescue operations are not working in coordination.

“This is a very serious matter. They have not just done what is required. In the future, you require central coordination mechanism. They are sending personnel who have no experience,” said Grover.


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