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Probe into jailbreak case to start this week
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 5:
Published on 6 Aug. 2009 1:19 AM IST
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The judicial probe into the high-profile Shillong jailbreak in Meghalaya is scheduled to begin its first sitting this week in which one of a senior Congress leader Thomas Nongtdu been accused of financing the jailbreak, a senior official said on Wednesday. Justice (retd) D Biswas of the Gauhati High Court will head the Commission of Inquiry. The Cabinet had given 120 days time to the Commission of Inquiry to complete its probe. Chief Minister DD Lapang on June 23 recommended a judicial probe following the opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and 14 social organisations under the banner of Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) asked the government to come clean on the issue. Earlier, the government had instituted a magisterial inquiry, departmental inquiry, besides an administrative enquiry headed by Principal Secretary in-charge Home (Police) PBO Warjri had examined all the circumstances that led to the escape of the seven UTPs. The administrative enquiry, which was submitted to the government, had accused state Director General of Police Anil K Pradhan for influencing his subordinates to drop all charges against the Congress leader after his arrest on charges of aiding and abetting the jailbreak. However, the Cabinet found that the administrative enquiry was "inconclusive" and entrusted justice Biswas to probe into all aspects of the related to the jailbreak. The terms of reference of the probe is to ascertain the circumstances leading to the jailbreak, death of jailbreak ringleader Fullmoon Dhar and events leading to the arrest and release of Congress politician Thomas Nongtdu. The post jailbreak case witnessed protest from SCAMOD demanding the removal of Pradhan from the post of DGP after being indicted by the administrative enquiry. In the wake of the protest, Pradhan commuted leave on medical grounds for 60 day’s from August 3 to October 2. Earlier, the government had suspended 11 jail officials, including the jail superintendent for dereliction of duty, while nine jail wardens were arrested for their alleged aiding and abetting in the jailbreak.

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