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Govt forms panel to probe �illegal� mining


GUWAHATI, July 18 - The State government has constituted a one-man inquiry commission with Justice BP Katakey, retired judge of Gauhati High Court to probe the allegations of large-scale illegal coal mining and destruction of biodiversity in the Dehing Patkai forests since 2003.

It will also probe the alleged involvement of various government departments in the illegalities, an official release said.

There have been widespread media reports on the issue of illegal mining � including those done by Coal India Limited � in Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve. Illegal rat-hole mining has also been reported inside Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. The Dehing Patkai range constitutes the State�s last vestiges of rainforests.

The inquiry will cover among other things alleged illegal mining at Saleki and other reserve forests since 2003 and fix responsibility on any organisation or individuals.

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