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Judicial panel for jailbreak case
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 30:
Published on 30 Jul. 2009 11:26 PM IST
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The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday dumped the administrative enquiry report which indicted state Director General of Police Anil K Pradhan for “dropping’’ criminal charges against a Congress leader Thomas Nongtdu, who is accused of financing the May 31 jailbreak. “The Cabinet has decided to entrust the judicial commission to probe into all aspects related to the Shillong jailbreak and the commission is free to hold any official responsible for the jailbreak,” Chief Minister DD Lapang told journalists after chairing the Cabinet meeting. Lapang said the Cabinet discussed at length the administrative report and found it was inconclusive, so a judicial inquiry would be carried out to probe into the case. On July 23, the state government had notified a one-man judicial inquiry commission headed by Justice (Retd) D Biswas to inquire into the Shillong jailbreak in which seven UTPs, including notorious criminal Fullmoon Dhar escaped from the Shillong district jail. The judicial inquiry has five terms of references to investigate. It would probe the reason behind the jailbreak and circumstances leading to the killing of Fullmoon - the ringleader behind the jailbreak. Justice Biswas will also probe into the reason behind Nongdtu’s arrest and his subsequent release to establish the criminal-politician nexus into the jailbreak. The judicial inquiry would be given 120 day’s time to completes its probe, Lapang, said but veered clear of giving a direct reply whether extension would be given if the investigator sought. Earlier, 14 social organisations under the banner of Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) had demanded the removal of Pradhan to ensure free and fair probe. Lapang had earlier assured Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) that action would be taken against those responsible if the administrative report on the jail break issue had indicted them. The Chief Minister, however, today makes a U-turn and said “the opinion of the cabinet is that the administrative report is inconclusive and it needs more justification”. Meanwhile, the Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) has decided to meet tomorrow to review the Cabinet decision and decide its future course of action. In a related development, the Chief Information Commissioner GP Wahlang today directed the police to provide all the police probe reports into the jail break to the prominent women’s group, Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO).

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