Assam Northeast

Assam: AITUC demands high level inquiry against illegal rat hole mining

The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has sought a high level inquiry into illegal rat hole coal mining in Tinsukia district following the death of three coal miners inside a rat hole mine recently.

Three coal miners namely Saidul Islam, Hussain Ali and Asmat Ali died on September 18 due to suspected inhalation of poisonous gas while working in a rat hole coal mining at Tikok Malu Hills in Ledo area under Margherita subdivision of Tinsukia district.

The AITUC sought the formation of a high level inquiry committee with sitting Supreme Court judges and adequate compensation to the deceased coal miners.

“We demand that the Assam government should provide Rs 1 crore to each of the victim’s families as compensation apart from government jobs to their dependents. A high level inquiry committee should be formed with the sitting Judges of Honorable Supreme Court without further delay. Moreover we have learned from confidential sources that illegal mining is going on under the knowledge of the district authorities and they are compelled to keep mum because the entire racket is being run under the patronage of some ruling party leaders,” said Ranjan Chowdhury, Secretary AITUC, Assam State Committee.

“The accidental death of mining workers happens from time to time but most of the media doesn’t cover it due to their vested interest. Surprisingly, not a single so-called organization raise their protest against the incident and illegal mining except AAMSU may be due to their religious sentiment. More than one thousand rat-hole coal mining is existing in the district. Tinsukia District authorities knows everything well but not yet taken drastic action against the original culprits. Coal India Limited despatch ten trucks on an average daily hereas hundreds of illegal coal loaded trucks are passing through Tinsukia district. Last but not the least, Biswaguru India should immediately stop rat hole coal mining,” Chowdhury stated.

Meanwhile, Tinsukia police have arrested eight persons in conection with the death of the three labourers.

According to police, David Hakhun alias David Naga, resident of Malou Pahar was booked in case no 251/2022 u/s 120 (B)/302/201/379/ IPC & R/W Sec 3 of PDPP Act.

Sources said Hakhun has been involved in the rat hole mining for many years. He has been also working for NSCN.

“Hakhun is not only the one their are many coal mafias in the region who are openly running the coal syndicate in the region with political backing. Everyday they are enganing JCB and other machines to procure coals from Patkai hills. Government should intervent into the matter immediately,” said a source.

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