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2 more jail officials suspended
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 5:
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Published on 6 Jun. 2009 12:10 AM IST
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Meghalaya government on Friday suspended two senior jail officials of Shillong district jail in connection with the high-profile jailbreak on Sunday last. “We have decided to suspend the Superintendent of Shillong jail Paize Warjri and the jailor Denis Warkhyllew for their dereliction of duty during the recent jailbreak,” Jail Minister Paul Lyngdoh said. The suspension orders against the two senior jail officials came after the Prisons Chief Kulbir Krishan submitted his findings on the recent jailbreak. “It is clear that the jailbreak had occurred due to some of the jail staff being guilty either in collusion with the prisoners or dereliction of duty,” Lyngdoh said. On Sunday 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 Dhar, the jailbreak ringleader, however, was shot dead a day later in an encounter with a special police team at Um-Pawai area in coal-rich district of Jaintia Hills. The other six UTPs were later re-arrested from different areas of Jaintia Hills. Soon after the jailbreak, the jail department suspended six jail staff which included Head Warder Edward Wahlang and five warders Raju Sunar, Sajan Kumar Rai, Tobias Dkhar, Bharat Singh, Wandonbok Myrboh and Armed Branch Naik S Warbah. The service of a cook working at the Shillong jail was also terminated. Of the suspended jail staff, five were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the high-profile jailbreak by smuggling of arms inside the jail and dereliction of duty. Warjri had been indicted by the CBI earlier for his involvement in the mix-up case related to a prisoner Rusith D Sangma. Some time in 1994, Sangma was substituted as Doyalian Kaipeng, an accused in a murder case after the latter probably died in custody. Although, the CBI had recommended the Meghalaya government to initiate disciplinary actions against Warjri and other nine officials involved in the crime, no action had been taken against any of them. However, the Jail Minister said that the government will look into this matter to prevent flaw in the jail administration. In his report, the Prisons Chief had pointed out that the major flaw in the jail administration was that the same jail staff continued to work in Shillong jail for many years thus developing friendship with the prisoners. Krishan also suggested to the government for the need to tone-up the security in and around the jails in the state, besides introduction of uniforms for the prisoners as well as for the jail warders, installation of alarm bells, CCTV, electronic sliding gates and separate cells for the hardcore criminals. “As the whole system of jail administration collapsed we are convinced that tough measures need to be taken to ensure security in all the jails,” the Jail Minister said. Case dropped against Congress leader Meghalaya police on Friday dropped all charges against arrested Congress’ member of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC), Thomas Nongtdu. Nongtdu, a Coal baron-turned politician was arrested on Wednesday night on charges of funding slain jailbreak ringleader, Fullmoon Dhar. On May 31 morning, seven Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) escaped from Shillong district jail after overpowering a guard on duty and fired in the air to scare the others. Fullmoon, the jailbreak ringleader, however, was shot dead a day later in an encounter with a special police team at Um-Pawai area in coal-rich district of Jaintia Hills. Today, the Shillong Bench of Gauhati High Court granted bail to Nongtdu, a day after the Chief Judicial Magistrate remanded him 14 days judicial custody. “All charges against Thomas Nongtdu has been dropped after the High Court granted him bail,” a police officer on condition of anoynmity, told reporters, here. The Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO), which demanded a CBI probe into the high-profile jailbreak, expressed shock on the slackness of the police investigating into the entire case. “It appears that there is a political interference which led to the release of the Congress MDC unlike the other cases,” CSWO President Agnes Kharshiing said, while reacting to police dropping all crminal charges against Nongtdu. Urging state DGP Anil Pradhan to re-investigate into the case, Kharshiing said the organisation was surprised when the police did not seek police custody to interrogate Nongtdu. Chief Minister DD Lapang, who is also in-charge of Home, refused to meet reporters following the high-profile jailbreak and subsequent arrest of Nongtdu and others. However, former Chief Minister Donkupar Roy said that the government should give police a free-hand to investigate into the entire case. Meanwhile, Nongtdu was rushed to government hospital after he complained of chest-pain.

 
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