Tura (Meghalaya),Mar 4 : North Garo Hills district police seized 13 trucks carrying coal illegally through the Songsak – Mendipathar road near Thapa Darenchi outpost.
The seizure came after locals informed activists of the movement of trucks loaded with coal plying through the route after which the police were informed and immediate action taken.
Interestingly the seizure was only made possible after the escort party for the vehicles, which allegedly included some local NGO members, ran off with the pay-off money, leaving the trucks stranded.
“After being informed of the trucks on the route, a patrol party was dispatched which made the seizure near the village of Sepikol under Tapa Darenchi outpost. An investigation into the role of the officers in question is also being initiated,” confirmed superintendent of police Abraham T Sangma.
Former MLA of Kharkutta, Cherak W Momin, who is also one of the men opposed to the illegal transport of coal, was unhappy with the work of local policemen, who he felt were also in the illegal act.
“I have made 3 complaints of illegal coal transport from the area between Songsak and Mendipathar. This has become the new route for these trucks. However my complaints were completely ignored. If the in-charge is not a part of the nexus, it would have been impossible to move the trucks in this manner,” said Cherak.
The former Congress MLA felt that it was only after the escorts fled with the money that the present case was detected.
“They would not have been caught otherwise as they had money to pay off everyone on the route,” he alleged.
Reacting to the allegations, the SP of NGH, Abraham T Sangma said that the in charge of the outpost had earlier been warned but seems to have not heeded the warnings.
“We will investigate the role of the local in charge and action will follow accordingly,” he said, adding, “The matter became complex due to the role of some of the local NGO leaders who actually assist these illegal coal trucks to move through.”
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