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Criminal cases against Nongtdu reopened
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 12:
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Published on 12 Jun. 2009 11:48 PM IST
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Succumbing to public pressure, Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang today re-opened the case against Congress leader Thomas Nongtdu who allegedly funded the recent jailbreak. Today, 14 organisations under the banner of Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMD) took to the street protesting demanding resignation of Mr Lapang for protecting politician-criminal nexus and removal of state DGP Anil Pradhan for dropping criminal-charges against Nongtdu. Nongtdu was named Evatiplang Kharkongor, a girlfriend of the slain jailbreak ringleader Fullmoon Dhar named him as the person who had finance buying of arms for the Shillong jailbreak. The Chief Minister also instituted an administrative inquiry headed by Principal Secretary (Home) PBO Warjri to inquire as to how Nongtdu was released and lapses into the recent jailbreak. “The Chief Minister assured us to re-open the case against Nongtdu and instituted an administrative inquiry to probe into the lapses of the recent jailbreak,” SCAMD member Samuel Jyrwa told reporters after the long hour meeting with Mr Lapang. Earlier, thousands of people carrying placards and shouting slogan “We condemned mafia raj” marched through the street in Shillong demanding reopening of the case against Nongtdu. They also demanded resignation of Lapang as Home Minister for harbouring and protecting politician-criminal nexus and removal of Anil Pradhan as Director General of Police (DGP). On May 31 morning, seven Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) escaped from the Shillong district jail after overpowering a guard on duty and fired in the air to scare the others. Fullmoon, however, was shot dead a day later in an encounter with the special police team at Um-Pawai area in coal-rich district of Jaintia Hills, while the others six UTPs were re-arrested. As police want to gets to the bottom of the jailbreak, police arrested Fullmoon’s girlfriend Kharkongor who confessed that the Congress leader Thomas Nongtdu had given her Rs three lakh to buy arms which were smuggled inside the jail with the assistance of jail officials. Based on Kharkongor’s confession, police immediately nabbed Nongtdu but released him later saying that as Kharkongor was of “unstable mind” they cannot arrest Nongtdu basing on her statement. However, doctor of Civil Hospital who had examined Kharkongor had certified that she was “mentally and physically sound.” As police dropped all criminal charges against Nongtdu, several organisations went up in arms against the Congress- led government and accused Lapang of protecting the politician-criminal nexus by releasing the Congress MDC without a proper investigation. The government had already suspended the Superintendent of the Shillong Jail Paize Warjri, jailor Denis Warkhyllew and other six warders for their dereliction of duty during the recent jailbreak. Of the six suspended jail staffs, five were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the high-profile jailbreak by smuggling of arms inside the jail and dereliction of duty.

 
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