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Miners’ fate uncertain, Mukul Sangma lambasts government for ‘insensitivity’

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Meghalaya

Shillong, Jan 3 (IANS) Even as the fate of 15 miners trapped in a coal mine for over three weeks now remains uncertain, leader of Opposition in Meghalaya Assembly Mukul Sangma on Thursday lambasted the National People’s Party (NPP)-led government for its failure to save the lives of the miners.

“It is shameful and they should be strongly condemned for their insensitivity. They have brought shame to the state and the nation,” said the veteran Congress leader.

“The responsibility of the government is to ensure safety. After so many days, was there any indication to show their seriousness? This reflects their lack of sensitivity which has antagonized the people, especially the families of the victims,” Sangma said.

Noting that the culpability aspect has to be taken and punishment as per law has to be ensured, the leader of Opposition said, “Due process of law has to be initiated against the authorities concerned based on the culpability aspect for not responding on time in saving precious lives.”

He said illegal mining has been going on East Jaintia Hills, “exposing the NPP-led government’s lies”. He said it appeared the government led by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was facilitating and encouraging illegal mining.

The Green Court had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya since April 17, 2014, after the All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee filed an application before the National Green Tribunal alleging that the water of the Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in Jaintia Hills.

“The order of the NGT is very clear that the onus to stop illegal mining and comply with the NGT directives lies with the Chief Secretary and the DGP and all other officers, starting from the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP),” Sangma said

The Supreme Court also expressed dissatisfaction over the outcome of the rescue operations at Ksan coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district.

“We are not satisfied with the rescue operations. No matter whether they are all dead or some alive, they should have been taken out. We pray to God they are alive,” said a bench of Justice A. Sikri and Justice Abdul Nazeer taking a dim view of the ongoing rescue operations.

Meanwhile, rescuers at the accident mining site are making all efforts to drain out the water from the shafts nearby the main one where the 15 miners are trapped in a 37-ft flooded mine over three weeks now.

But the fate of the miners remains uncertain.

On Monday, Indian Navy divers had located a wooden structure, coal lying beneath and one rat hole with coal at its mouth inside the flooded mine.

They had sought dewatering the flooded mine so that the divers could dive to the bottom of the 370-feet coal pit.

The tragedy came to light after five miners escaped the coal pit.

More than 200 rescuers are taking part in the rescue operations.

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Bhopal may get country’s first cremation ground for cows

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Bhopal, Jan 18 (IANS) The country’s first cremation ground for cows will be prepared in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal and the city’s municipal authorities are already on the lookout for a site for the purpose.

Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma said: “The municipal corporation wants to prepare a cow cremation centre for their salvation. We will do it as soon as we find a suitable land for it.”

Sharma said that the project was already under discussion during former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s regime, and now they were taking it forward.

Hailing the civic authorities’ effort, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamalnath said the government would encourage the efforts made for the welfare of cows. The government was committed to fulfilling its promises, he said.

The Congress had promised to construct cowsheds at Panchayat level in its manifesto before the Assembly elections.

There are an estimated 227 crore cattle in the state, out of which 90 lakh are milch cows.

Farmer leader Kedar Sirohi has also welcomed the effort and urged the government to take in notice the cows who are dying due to malnutrition at early age.

Stray cattle have become a problem in the state and often cause accidents and destroy crops.

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10% quota for economically weak applicable from Jan 14 in UP

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Lucknow, Jan 18 :The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Friday ratified 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections among the upper castes, a government spokesman said.

A meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here decided to enforce the reservation in government jobs and higher education institutions with retrospective effect, from January 14.

“The officials have carefully studied the formula of reservation to the upper castes, as rolled out by the Central and the Gujarat governments, and it has been decided that the quota will come into effect in the state the way it is being implemented by Centre,” said state Power Minister Srikant Sharma.

All Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states, including Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Gujarat, have already implemented the 10 per cent reservation for economically weak, after President Ram nath Kovind gave his assent to the constitutional amendment bill passed by the Parliament.

In another key decision, the cabinet okayed a proposal to use Rs 165 crore earned through the cess on liquor sale for protection of cows.

Besides, it was also decided that the cabinet approval will not be required for the projects worth up to Rs 1 crore.

The cabinet also gave the nod for renaming Mughalsarai tehsil after RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Also, a decision to rebore 1,101 tubewells and install 2,000 new sets was taken on Friday.

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Bihar: Boy’s jaw broken for plucking plums in Muzaffarpur

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Patna, Jan 18: A seven-year-old boy was beaten, his jaw was broken and six of his teeth were knocked out as punishment for plucking some plums from a tree in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, police said on Friday.

An FIR has been lodged on the basis of the complaint filed by the boy’s mother, police officer Mohammad Sujauddin said.

Mohammad Sohail was attacked by Faizan Warsi alias Jonny, who beat the boy black and blue for plucking fruits from the tree near his house. The child has been admitted to a hospital in critical condition.

Sohail’s mother also claimed that Warsi’s parents had asked her to keep mum on the matter and not involve the police.

The police were yet to nab the culprit.

IANS

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