Govt wants 10 CAPF companies to check illegal coal transport

April 18, 2023 by MT Bureau

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has informed that he had already written to the Government of India for deployment of 10 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) to check the illegal transportation of coal in the state.

“I had written to the Government of India on it so the Government of India will respond accordingly,” Sangma told reporters today when asked about the Meghalaya High Court’s order for the deployment of CAPF.

In its order passed on April 12, the full bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee had said, “and the Union Ministry of Home, through the Union Home Secretary, is directed to ensure the deployment of 10 companies of the appropriate Central Armed Police Force to be commanded independently or jointly by the officers from the local police that may be selected by the Court, strictly for the purpose of keeping a vigil on the roads and arresting the illegal transportation of illegally mined coal in the State.”

The Court had also directed that the Union’s response through the relevant Secretary should be available when the matter appears next a fortnight hence.

This was after DSGI Dr Mozika had informed that the Central Industrial Security Force is unwilling to take up the assignment of deploying 10 companies for the purpose of checking the illegal transportation of coal in the state, primarily because the nature of the work does not fall within the usual activities undertaken by such police force.

However, the order said that the Court did not seek out the CISF in particular, but had initially sought to explore the possibility of deploying the Central Reserve Police Force with the mandate to check the illegal transportation of coal in the State.

It was at such stage that it was suggested on behalf of the Union since the CRPF works under the instructions of the local police and the real intention of this Court was for the local police not to be associated in the process since it had been ineffective in such regard, the CISF may be the appropriate force.

“In any event, no direction had been issued for deployment. The previous orders merely provided for the CISF to indicate its readiness. Despite the apparent unwillingness on the part of the CISF, once a direction is issued by the Court, the relevant force would be bound thereby, subject to its right to have the order tested in the appropriate forum. However, no such direction is issued immediately,” the Court had said.