Teenager killed in quarry landslide

Guwahati, Jan 10 : A 13-year-old boy, Baboo Goala, was killed in a landslide while working at an illegal stone quarry on the Baleswar riverbed in Cachar district yesterday.
Cachar police were informed of the incident today.
The police said the accident happened when loose soil from an adjacent hillock crashed down on a group of a dozen labourers yesterday around 4.30pm.
The dead boy was a resident of the nearby Jelalpur tea estate.
The police today slapped a case of alleged negligent quarrying against the contractor, Dalim Vaishnav, for engaging under-aged children in such hazardous work.
Ranjit Goala, another worker, had a miraculous escape when he managed to crawl out of the mass of soil that had cascaded down in a landslide on the riverbed, burying the two boys under it.
The other children, numbering nearly 10, ran for safety when they saw the landslide.
The Cachar district administration today asked a magistrate to investigate the cause behind the boy’s death.
The office of the assistant commissioner of labour under the Assam government will also probe the mishap and the allegations of flouting the Child Labour Act.
A procession was taken out at the village of Jelalpur with Baboo’s body, which was dug out this morning.
Mita Nath, the president of the Kushiarkul gaon panchayat, under whose purview the quarries fall, expressed concern over the incidents of illegal quarrying in Kathigorah block.
She said the unauthorised contractors do not show any qualms in employing child labourers, who are each paid Rs 30 or Rs 35 for a day’s work.
She alleged that the district forest department had remained unmoved even as the attention of the authorities there had been drawn to the unauthorised quarrying.
The residents also alleged that the rampant quarrying had resulted in the gradual weakening of the nearby hills, causing the landslides.