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pressure mounts for removal of Meghalaya DGP
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 1
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 11:52 PM IST
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: Meghalaya DGP Anil K Pradhan may be asked to go on leave following the May 31 Shillong jailbreak case in which seven undertrials, including notorious criminal Fullmoon Dhar, escaped from the Shillong district jail. Pressure groups are advocating for the removal of the DGP. ‘’We are exploring ways and means to ease tension and it is up to the DGP to decide what suits him best,’’ Chief Minister D D Lapang said on Saturday when asked whether the Government would ask him to go on study leave after the Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) announced a series of agitation programmes starting from August 3. SCAMOD, representing 14 social organisations, had announced agitation in East Khasi hills, West Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and Ri-Bhoi districts to protest the Cabinet’s decision of not removing the DGP despite the administrative inquiry report that had revealed that Pradhan instructed his subordinates to drop all charges against Congress leader Thomas Nongtdu, the prime accused in the jailbreak case. The organisations had threatened to block roads on the National Highways on August 3 and 4. The Cabinet, however, had termed the inquiry report, headed by Principal Secretary in-charge PBO Warjri, as ‘’inconclusive’, but decided to entrust the judicial commission to probe into all aspects related to the jailbreak case. Lapang urged, ‘’I appeal to the NGOs to withdraw their agitational programmes as they will disrupt the normal life.’’ Asked whether the government will adopt preventive arrests against the agitating NGOs, the Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio said, ‘’I am not going to instruct any such order, it is the duty of the district administration to calm down any situation that may lead to a law and order problem.’’ He said the government was trying to find out ways to solve the issue. Blaming the government for the proposed agitation, SCAMOD spokesperson Samuel Jyrwa said it had forced them to take to the streets rather than fulfilling the genuine demand. ‘’Our demand for removal of the DGP was aimed at ensuring an impartial judicial probe into the jailbreak episode,’’ Jyrwa said, while criticising the Congress-led government for shielding the DGP, who was indicted by the administrative inquiry for letting off Nongtdu. Nongtdu, a nominated member of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, allegedly gave Rs 3 lakh for the jailbreak. On July 23, the state government had notified a one-man judicial inquiry commission, headed by Justice (retd) D Biswas, to inquire into the jailbreak case. Fullmoon was later killed in an encounter while the rest were recaptured. The judicial inquiry would be given 120 days time to complete its probe.

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