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Security tightened in Jaintia coalmine
Published on 3 Jan. 2010 10:46 PM IST
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A security alert was sounded in the coal mine belt of Jaintia Hills to prevent a backlash following the December 29 killing of two migrant coal labourers from Assam. A group of armed criminals attacked a labour camp at Kyrluh village under Khlerihat civil subdivision, around 85km from Jowai in Jaintia Hills, killing two labourers hailing from Morigaon in Assam. Five others were injured in the attack. The police want to ensure that there is no law and order crisis arising out of the killing. They said a dispute over the coalmines among the villagers might have led to the attack. According to the police, the coal labourers were always a soft target when the villagers fought for supremacy over the disputed coalmines. There have been several attacks on labour camps in Jaintia Hills. A group of villagers attacked and set on fire labour camps at Mynthning village, around 60km from Jowai, on December 26. The villagers from Samasi and Larkhet villages, near Mynthning village, torched 15 labour camps, claiming that several portions of land in the village belonged to them. Many labourers had fled following the attack. According to the police report, the villagers of Samasi and Larkhet regularly stake claim to the coalmines at Mynthning. The incidents had prompted the police to deploy a platoon of police personnel in the coalmines. The Jaintia Hills superintendent of police, O. Passi, said the police were concerned over the frequent attacks and shortage of manpower. “The coalfields in Jaintia Hills are vast and there are not enough police personnel to supervise them,” Passi said. He added that police personnel deployed in Jaintia Hills have to fight insurgency, manage traffic and control other crimes. This made it difficult to give full attention to the coalmines. He said they had raised the demand for more policemen for Jaintia Hills with the government. “We will pursue the matter,” he added.

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