Adopting a tough posture, Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang on Saturday said that the state government would be firm in maintaining law and order if any organization tried to take law in their hands over the controversial uranium mining issue.

In the face of a 15-day deadline by the powerful Khasi Students Union (KSU) seeking withdrawal of the cabinet decision to lease land to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Mr. Lapang said, Law and order would be maintained at all cost. The administration and the law enforcing agency would be firm in dealing with any situation.

Amid threats of large-scale agitation by anti-mining organizations led by the KSU, Mr. Lapang ruled out any review of the cabinet decision to lease land to the UCIL for pre-project developmental works in the uranium rich areas of the state.

The chief minister, however, said he was ready to discuss with KSU on the issue but added that the talks initiative should come from the other side.

The Meghalaya cabinet had decided to lease 422 sq ha of land having uranium deposits in West Khasi Hills for 30 years to UCIL for pre-project developmental works. The UCIL had agreed to earmark Rs 209 crore to carry out pre-project development programmes, including health care facilities, power, drinking water, educational institutions and roads.