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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Many at the top are millionaires: VPP

Basaiawmoit regrets death has failed to prick their conscience

SHILLONG:

The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Monday said that some people at the helm of affairs in the state have milked the alleged illegal coal trade to turn into “millionaires” and that the state government was now trying to legalise the transportation of illegally- extracted coal.

“Some people have become millionaires, and that includes some of those who are at the helm of affairs in the state today, from this illegal activity,” VPP chief Ardent M Basaiawmoit said in a statement.

Basaiawmoit said the government notification allowing transportation of coal, from different states and even outside the country to Bangladesh via Meghalaya, was an effort at giving a legal seal to an illegal activity.

“This is nothing but to conceal illegal coal mining in the state which has been there since the banning of rat-hole mining,” he said adding that the continuing illegal transportation had left roads and many bridges in a very bad shape, posing a serious risk to commuters.

The VPP chief also drew an analogy between the alleged ongoing illegal coal trade with Adolf Hitler’s assertion that “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

He said, “It implies that no matter what, if any immoral and illegal action is repeated continuously, people will eventually accept it as normal. This is exactly what this present government is doing, “tell the people of the state that there is no illegal extraction of coal, repeatedly and continuously, they will accept it as the truth”. The former Nongkrem legislator further stated that the worst part is that even death has failed to prick their conscience, referring to the many workers dying inside coal mines.

However, the state government continues to deny that there is any kind of illegal extraction of coal, he added.

Basaiawmoit also slammed the state government for claiming that there is no illegal transportation of coal in the state, whereas people are witness to coal-laden trucks plying on the road everywhere.

Stating that the present dispensation perhaps feels that all the people in the state are fools and that they can be easily hoodwink by them, the VPP president said, however, this is a reminder to all those who think they can commit any crime and nothing can happen will one day have to face the law, and stand trial.

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