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AMD workers stopped work, closed down research operations

AMD regional director Sandeep Hamilton said this after he was summoned by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.

PTI Last Updated at 01 Aug 2018, 20:08 IST India

The state-owned Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD), whose officials were assaulted while exploring minerals at remote Uranium-rich Wahkaji village in South West Khasi Hills district last week, today said that it has stopped work and closed down research operations.

AMD regional director Sandeep Hamilton said this after he was summoned by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council. We have taken a conscious decision after seeing the situation and the sentiments of the people.

Now we have stopped our work and we have completely closed down our research operations in Meghalaya, Hamilton told reporters.

The Tribal Council, one of the three councils for indigenous tribal people here, had summoned the AMD officials after allegations that the department had taken up exploratory drilling of uranium in areas under South West Khasi Hills District without getting any permission from either the state government or the Council.

On July 25, three AMD officials, including a scientist, were injured and vehicles damaged when anti-uranium activists stormed the AMD office at Wahkaji village.

The Council was informed that the exploratory drilling was undertaken at Wahkaji village with due approvals from the landowners citing the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, in which the AMD is allowed to conduct exploration works anywhere in the country.

AMD deputy regional director Rahul Banerjee informed that the purpose of exploratory works at Wahkaji was to take sub-surface mineral samples. We were doing small boreholes of 20-30 meters to extract some samples for doing Research and Development for laboratory purposes, analysis and microscopic studies, Banerjee said.

Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong had told PTI that the government had not given consent to the AMD for exploratory drilling of minerals in Wahkaji

. He also said that the state cabinet had unanimously decided to stop all activities relating to exploratory drilling of uranium deposits in South West Khasi Hills district.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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