Meghalaya Miners: State Govt Tells SC It Won’t Cease Rescue Ops

More than a month after 15 miners were trapped in an illegal rat-hole mine in Meghalaya. The state government and Centre told the Supreme Court. That they are not abandoning the rescue operations, ANI reported. The 15 miners have been trapped inside an illegal rat-hole mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills since 13 December 2018.

The Supreme Court asked the state government to file a status report on the rescue operations by 7 January.

This comes a day after the Indian Navy abandoned all efforts to pull out the decomposed body of a miner. That it spotted four days ago inside a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills District, officials said.

The Navy divers had detected, on 16 January, the decomposed body of one of the miners. Using an unmanned, remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) at a depth of around 160 feet inside the main shaft.

On Saturday, 19 January, families of four of the 15 miners urged the rescuers to retrieve a decomposed body spotted by divers so that they could perform the last rites.

“Even if they manage to get a finger or a bone out of the shaft, it is fine for us. We will, at least, be able to bury the dead with some respect.”

Manik Ali, brother of a trapped minor

The 15 miners got stuck in the rat-hole mine on 13 December 2018 after one of them accidentally punctured the wall of the mine, leading to its flooding. The Supreme Court had even told the Meghalaya government that it is not satisfied with the rescue operations, before the state was asked to submit the status report.

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