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Jaintia Hills coal belt also producing juvenile criminals!

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, March 1 � Apart from coal, the dark underbelly of coal-rich Jaintia Hills district is also producing scores of juvenile criminals.

Numerous coal mafias operate in the coal belt of Jaintia Hills where coal business-related violence is common.

But what is startling is that young children are taking to crime in the district. �Out of the 27 inmates lodged in the juvenile home, 13 are from Jaintia Hills district,� Vice Chairperson of Meghalaya Women Commission, Rica Lamar informed. The Commission on Thursday paid a surprise visit to the Juvenile Observation-cum-Special Home for boys together with journalists.

These boys lodged in the juvenile home from Jaintia Hills have committed crimes ranging from rape, murder to theft.

Most of the boys are from the mining area like Lad Rymbai and Khlieriat. �Families from the lower economic strata are increasingly moving to the mining areas and therefore are being exposed to a violent environment,� Lamar added.

Apart from migration from the rural areas of Jaintia Hills, scores of children are brought to these mining areas from Nepal and neighbouring States in the Northeast.

According to a local NGO�s report many boys work as �bonded labourers� in the �rat-hole� mines of the district and work under inhuman conditions.

In several instances these children are �purchased� or �abducted� by middlemen and sold by gangs in Nepal and Bangladesh to the mining mafia in Meghalaya, the report said.

�Girls in the area are also victim of sexual abuse in these mining areas. Many are �lured� and are trafficked to different parts of the country, Lamar also a women right activist from Jaintia Hills said.

Ironically, the proposed draft mining policy of the State Government does not adequately deal on the subject of child exploitation in the mining areas of Jaintia Hills and its subsequent fallout.

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Jaintia Hills coal belt also producing juvenile criminals!

SHILLONG, March 1 � Apart from coal, the dark underbelly of coal-rich Jaintia Hills district is also producing scores of juvenile criminals.

Numerous coal mafias operate in the coal belt of Jaintia Hills where coal business-related violence is common.

But what is startling is that young children are taking to crime in the district. �Out of the 27 inmates lodged in the juvenile home, 13 are from Jaintia Hills district,� Vice Chairperson of Meghalaya Women Commission, Rica Lamar informed. The Commission on Thursday paid a surprise visit to the Juvenile Observation-cum-Special Home for boys together with journalists.

These boys lodged in the juvenile home from Jaintia Hills have committed crimes ranging from rape, murder to theft.

Most of the boys are from the mining area like Lad Rymbai and Khlieriat. �Families from the lower economic strata are increasingly moving to the mining areas and therefore are being exposed to a violent environment,� Lamar added.

Apart from migration from the rural areas of Jaintia Hills, scores of children are brought to these mining areas from Nepal and neighbouring States in the Northeast.

According to a local NGO�s report many boys work as �bonded labourers� in the �rat-hole� mines of the district and work under inhuman conditions.

In several instances these children are �purchased� or �abducted� by middlemen and sold by gangs in Nepal and Bangladesh to the mining mafia in Meghalaya, the report said.

�Girls in the area are also victim of sexual abuse in these mining areas. Many are �lured� and are trafficked to different parts of the country, Lamar also a women right activist from Jaintia Hills said.

Ironically, the proposed draft mining policy of the State Government does not adequately deal on the subject of child exploitation in the mining areas of Jaintia Hills and its subsequent fallout.