A group of villagers working for Kapasara Colliery of Mugma area of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), located about 25 kilometeres away from Dhanbad district headquarters, not just stole coal but also clashed with the ECL team led by VC Singh, General Manager of Mugma area, on Monday morning.
The manager was on a regular inspection drive when he detected locals stealing coal. On confronting the locals, Singh was attacked by them with sticks. The villagers pelted stone at the manager, which caused severe damage to his vehicle. In the scuffle that ensued, Geeta Devi (30), a woman hailing from Siyalkanali village, was injured while trying to flee from the site. She was stealing coal from the site.
Following the clash, villagers sat on a demonstration, thereby disrupting work at the Kapasara Colliery. They charged Singh for scolding the villagers and air firing. They have submitted a written complaint against Singh in Nirsa Police station and have asked for his transfer.
Sub-divisional police officer Bijay Kumar Kushwaha with his team had separate talks with both the protestors and the manager. They even sent the woman for a medical examination at Nirsa Community Health Centre.
Talking to media, Geeta Devi, said, “I went to Kapasara colliery to bring in coal from there to cook food. We do this regularly, but the manager was inspecting the spot, noticed us, and started to scold us. He used filthy language. When we were heading towards our village, he asked his bodyguard to fire at us. I hurt my right hand.”
“Rampant illegal mining and coal theft is done by the residents of this area. In the morning when I was inspecting Kapasara colliery, a group of 100 coal thieves attacked me. They attacked me intending to kill me,” said Singh while accusing the villagers of coal theft.
“The crowd, comprising men and women armed with stones, boulder, and sticks, when attacked us, my bodyguard fired in the air to save ourselves and not to harm anyone,” said Singh. He maintained that coal is a national asset and that he would not allow anyone to steal it.