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Shillong, Feb 05:

The Opposition Congress on Wednesday accused the NPP led MDA Government of creating a ‘cartel’ to facilitate illegal mining and transportation of coal.

“The Government has created a cartel to carry forward the irregularities and corruption pertaining to illegal mining and transportation of coal. They are using the officers as pawns to run this cartel,” Opposition Leader, Dr Mukul Sangma told reporters while addressing a press conference here today.

He said that officers are being pressurized to do their (ministers’) bidding otherwise they would be removed. “It is really unfortunate that officers are being misused. It is time for the officers to refuse to act as pawn in the cartel created by the people leading the Government,” Dr Mukul, who is the former Chief Minister said.

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Replying to a question, he said that the cartel which has been created goes beyond the boundaries.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader also said there is a complete attempt by the State Government to scuttle the process of Lokayukta which recently ordered for a CBI inquiry into the matter pertaining to illegal coal mining and its transportation.

“This is an unprecedented and unwanted trend which is created by this Government. There is a complete attempt by the Government to scuttle this process of law. We will now allow it. We must allow the anti-graft law to prevail,” former Chief Minister said.

According to him, the stand, order and recommendations of the Lokayukta will unfold all the truth which everybody should support.

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“I want to question as to why the Government is trying to delay. Delay itself will lead to loss of evidences. The relevant laws will have to prevail if there is an attempt to destroy the evidences,” Dr Mukul said.

Stating that the people who are involved in the corruption practices cannot go scot-free as there are enough evidences with the people on the illegal activities, he added that the Lokayukta in Meghalaya is analyzing the matter as per the law.

Slamming Chief  Minister, Conrad Sangma for continuing to be on the denial mode as far as illegal coal mining and its transportation is concerned, Opposition leader suggested that any representative from the Government along with the media and independent bodies besides political parties can check what is actually happening on the ground zero.

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“Everyone knows what is happening. These cartels are created to engage in irregularities by depriving the state and autonomous District Councils of the scarce resources and bringing a bad name to the state,” he said.

Revealing the modus operandi of the government, he said that whenever there is are reports of unclaimed coal, a process has to be followed to verify the owner of the asset.

“But no such verification was done neither was any public notice issued. The notification for the auctioning of the coal is issued around 15 days before but such notices are advertised in print media only one day before the auction,” he said.

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