No less than seven police personnel have been injured after violence broke out throughout a public listening to for growth of a limestone mining mission in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on Saturday, officers mentioned. The violence erupted after members of varied teams protesting in opposition to the mission forcefully entered the general public listening to web site and threw stones, injuring the police personnel, they mentioned.
Tear-gas and stun grenades have been used to disperse the protesters, police mentioned, including that the general public listening to was being held exterior the deputy commissioner’s workplace for the proposed growth of the limestone mining mission by Star Cement Ltd.
“Seven police personnel, together with ladies constables, suffered accidents throughout the protest and stone pelting incident,” East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner (DC) E Kharmalki mentioned.
The general public listening to began off peacefully at 11 am however needed to be adjourned after over 1,000 folks, together with NGO activists, began barging into the venue, he mentioned.
“After there was continued disruption and after we wished to once more begin the general public listening to round 1.30 pm, we determined to name off the assembly because the state of affairs was not appropriate to proceed forward,” Kharmalki mentioned.
Police exercised full restrain from utilizing any power, however they have been compelled to make use of tear-gas and stun grenades to regulate the state of affairs, the DC mentioned.
A number of anti-mining and pro-environment teams have expressed robust opposition in opposition to the growth of the mining mission. The teams are additionally in opposition to the choice of holding the general public listening to on the DC’s workplace, which they are saying may be very far-off from the proposed mining space at Brishyrnot.
The protest took an unsightly flip when organisations together with folks from the world forcefully entered the premises of the general public listening to and broken the ‘pandal’ erected for it exterior the DC’s workplace, police mentioned.
When requested, Kharmalki mentioned that he’ll instantly submit a report back to the Ministry of Surroundings and Forests (MoEF).
“A report (relating to the incident) will probably be despatched to the MoEF in order that it could accordingly take a call,” he mentioned and added that the following date for the general public listening to will depend upon the choice of the ministry.
On whether or not the district administration will file a case, the DC mentioned, “We’re nonetheless assessing the state of affairs to search out out who has violated protocols, who has broken the ‘pandal’, after which accordingly we are going to take a call (on what motion ought to be taken).”
Organisations which are protesting in opposition to the mining mission embrace the influential KSU, JSU, EJNC, HANM, HYC, FKJGP and STIEH.
The protesting organisation have mentioned that permitting growth of the mission will have an effect on the surroundings. Not solely will it pollute rivers but in addition have an effect on the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary which is situated adjoining to the proposed mining space, they mentioned.
Brishyrnot Waheh Shnong (headman), Standly Massar, expressed concern over the incident that led to the cancellation of the general public listening to for the third time.
“It’s actually an unlucky incident and we don’t know the intention of the organisations protesting in opposition to the general public listening to. They need to have taken our views and opinion into consideration earlier than taking such step,” he mentioned.
Massar additionally claimed that the village has seen improvement in regard to highway connectivity and water provide, amongst others.
He additionally urged the state authorities to search out methods and means to resolve the difficulty within the curiosity of the folks of the world. One of many supporters of the growth mission, Angelina Massar, a resident of Brishyrnot, mentioned that the cement manufacturing facility will profit the native populace in some ways.
“Concerning the allegation that the mining mission will probably be detrimental to the surroundings, I’m assured that there are legal guidelines which are binding to all cement firms for taking over land reclamation to stop environmental degradation,” she mentioned.