Following the collapse of an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya last December trapping 15 miners, the Nagaland government in January decided to ban illegal coal mining in the state.

Nagaland: 4 found dead in abandoned coal mine in Longleng

According to the police, the miners were killed following mudslides at the mine located in Yonglok village

Kohima: Four miners were killed following mudslides at an illegal coal mine at Yonglok village in Longleng district of Nagaland, the police said on Monday.

However, the exact circumstances of their presence at the mine are yet to be established. Also, the exact cause of the death could not be established since their families refused to get their postmortem conducted, said officials.

The mine was recently shut down following a state government order banning illegal coal mining and a provisional ban on licensed mining activity, the police said.

The victims, hailing from upper Assam, have been identified as Jiten Tanti (40), Krishna Gogoi (32), Tutu Deka (28) and Shushan Phukon (37).

Post-mortem was not done on the bodies at the request of the victims' families. The bodies were delivered to the families after an undertaking.

The Nagaland incident has occurred within three months of the Meghalaya mine tragedy in which 15 miners were trapped in an illegal rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills district. Rescuers have been able to retrieve only two highly decomposed bodies from the accident site so far.

Following the Meghalaya accident, the Nagaland government in January decided to ban illegal coal mining in the state and also impose a provisional mining ban on all firms/companies which have been issued with mining licences. The Nagaland Cabinet set up a Committee to examine the issue of coal mining and the resultant damages caused to the environment.