If proven guilty, he should be punished: Shylla on brother's alleged involvement in coal scam



Meghalaya Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Kyrmen Shylla on Friday stated that if his brother is proven guilty of being involved in the alleged illegal transportation of coal, he should be punished.

“Just because I am a Minister I am not going to spare anyone involved in illegalities. I am here to serve the public. If my family or my father are found guilty, they should be punished,” Shylla, who is also legislator from coal-belt Khliehriat constituency, told reporters.

Shylla stated that if his brother is involved in any illegal activities, they should not spare him.

"The law should be equal to everyone," Shylla said.

We may note that the minister's brother, Bishon Shylla, was accused of being involved in illegal transportation of coal in the state.

Police also arrested an individual identified as Sujit Paul and confiscated two coal-laden trucks at Beltol in Assam on Monday.

Paul was accused of being a tout for the entry of illegal coal-laden trucks into Assam. According to various sources, 150 coal-laden trucks from Meghalaya enter Assam daily.

On being asked if illegal coal transportation is taking place, the Revenue and Disaster Management Minister said that that the state government does not encourage illegal mining or coal transportation.

“The state government is very much against illegal mining and transportation of coal. Anyone involved in illegal mining should be strongly punished. We fully respect the ruling of the NGT (National Green Tribunal) in connection with coal mining in the state. We would like to see that coal mining again resumes in the state by strictly following the various environmental norms,” he said.

Shylla also urged the citizens to co-operate and to adhere to the rules and norms laid out by the NGT.

The people should wait till we put a proper system in place, which will pave the way for legal mining and coal transportation, he said.

“If they feel my name is involved or (that) I am responsible, then they should file an FIR against me. But one should not drag my party in it since the party has nothing to do with illegal coal transportation,” Shylla said in response to allegations that the United Democratic Party (UDP) is involved in illegal coal transportation and mining in Meghalaya.

If the people are complaining about the party, they should substantiate their accusations with evidence, he said.

On being asked to comment about the BJP’s demand to arrest former Home Minister James PK Sangma for his alleged involvement in illegal coal transportation, Shylla said that the minister should be arrested only if proven guilty.