Seven months after 15 people were trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed the state government’s plea seeking its permission to call off the ongoing operation to retrieve the bodies.
The illegal mine is located at Ksan in East Jaintia Hills district, about 3.7 km deep inside a forest. It was flooded in December last year when water from the nearby Letein river gushed into it, trapping 15 miners inside.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai passed the order while hearing a petition which had sought urgent steps for rescuing the miners trapped in the mine.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that the state has filed an application seeking permission to call off the operation. “We are not opposing it,” he said, adding, “Now we are no longer on the issue of (rescue) operation.”
Federick Dopth, deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills, told the media that the operation had been called off after the developments in Supreme Court. Asked about the expenditure on the operation, he said it was “roughly” Rs 3.5 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)