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Rajkhowa to probe Shillong jailbreak case
Correspondent Shillong, Aug 20:
Published on 21 Aug. 2010 12:17 AM IST
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The Meghalaya government appointed justice (retd) SP Rajkhowa to probe into the Shillong jailbreak probe, Chief Secretary WMS Pariat said Friday.
"Rajkhowa would head the judicial inquiry, which was left mid-way by Justice (retd) D Biswas, who took up a new assignment with the Assam government, just months before the commission was to submit its report to the government."
Pariat said justice Rajkhowa would take over charge soon and the terms of reference for the Rajkhowa commission would remain unchanged.
"But everything depends on justice Rajkhowa, if he would take over from where Justice Biswas left behind or he would start a fresh probe. but if he (Justice Rajkhowa) feels inquiry should be from the beginning the government would accept," he said. Seven people, including two undertrials, escaped from the Shillong jail May 31 last year. Most of them were caught again while Fullmoon Dhar, the ringleader, was gunned down by police in the Jaintia Hills.
The commission constituted by the previous D.D. Lapang-led government July 23 last year, was asked to complete the probe, including an alleged politician-criminal nexus, and submit its findings to the government by May 31.
Several social groups under the banner ‘Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMoD)’, pressurized the government to probe the incident. On Thursday, SCAMoD threatened to agitate if a new judge was not appointed soon claiming Justice Biswas’ sudden resignation was due to vested interest.
Chief Minster Mukul Sangma assured that necessary clause(s) would be incorporated during appointment of the new judge so that he/she completes the probe and doesn’t leave mid-way as Justice Biswas.
In March, two undertrial prisoners who had appeared before the Biswas Commission, claimed that Dhar, the ringleader who is now dead, was in touch with a “Congress Lok Sabha candidate” before he escaped from prison.
Synsharlang Thongni and Khrawborlang Marbaniang were two undertrials who, along with Dhar and four others, escaped from the Shillong jail.
A Congress district council member from Jaintia Hills, Thomas Nongtdu, is also alleged to have financed the jailbreak. EoM

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