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SC asks govt to talk to victims’ kin

Continuation of Ksan rescue ops

NEW DELHI/SHILLONG: The reconstituted Supreme Court bench on Tuesday asked the authorities to talk to the next of kin of 13 miners feared to be dead in an illegal rat-hole coal mine at Ksan of East Jaintia Hills district with hope of recovering them appearing grim after so many days and such a huge exercise.
At least 15 miners were trapped when water flooded the mine on December 13 last year. A multi-agency rescue operation, including the Navy, has so far detected five bodies out of which only two could be brought out.
The apex court also asked the government to direct National Institute of Hydrology to prepare fresh report as to the adequacy of efforts and their utility at present.
The report will be filed in two weeks and an officer from the Union government and another from the state government will assist in its preparation.
The petitioner and the State should contact relatives of the deceased to enquire whether they still want the bodies out.
The bench was of the opinion that instead of spending on the rescue operation without any result in sight, the poor relatives could be given compensation.
Rs 2.5 crore spent
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday informed the state Assembly the state government has spent around Rs 2.5 crore on the ongoing rescue operation at Ksan.
In reply to a query by Congress MLA P T Sawkmie, Sangma said the government may request the Supreme Court to take a call on the operation since it is monitoring the entire matter.

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