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ASANSOL, 17 OCTOBER: An illegal coal miner was killed when a chunk of coal fell upon his head at Shibdanga Open Cast Coal Mine of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in the Jamuria Police Station area early this morning.
Local villagers rescued the teenager, and Jamuria Police shifted him to Asansol District Hospital, where doctors declared him dead. The victim has been identified as Sudip Tudu (12) of Jamuria. Coal production was stopped after the incident.
Kuldip Sonawane, DCP (Central) of the Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate, told the media that the postmortem has been conducted at the Asansol District Hospital. “We have started investigations, and the colliery officials will be questioned. The teenager had entered the coal mine this morning, local villagers claimed,” he added.
This is the third such incident of the death of illegal coal miners in the collieries of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in the past week. While three illegal coal miners were officially killed in Narayankuri, Raniganj, two illegal coal miners were killed in Nirsa colliery, ECL.
Jawans of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) have also rushed to the scene after the accident. Local villagers allege that the police, coal mafia, and CISF are hand in glove with each other. Recently, after a brief lull, illegal coal mining has once again started in the Jamuria, Raniganj, Barabani, and Salanpur areas.
Burdwan South MLA Agnimitra Paul has staged a dharna outside the office of the Kunustoria Area office of ECL. She has demanded compensation for seven illegal coal miners in Narayankuri and the deployment of CISF at all the coal mines.
Former Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tiwari has demanded a high-level probe against the private mine developers and operators (MDO) of ECL. “Every day before the Durga Pujas, there have been reports of the deaths of illegal coal miners. BJP will lodge an FIR if required,” he added.