Less than a year after he scripted a dramatic jailbreak, the ghost of slain gangster Fullmoon Dhar has returned to embarrass the Congress in Meghalaya. And this time, it’s the turn of a Lok Sabha member to be uneasy.
Seven under-trial prisoners (UTPs) including Dhar had on May 31 last year escaped from Shillong Jail. Police gunned down Dhar – a hired killer for coal barons and wanted for at least 10 rapes and murders – while the others were rearrested within a fortnight.
The incident left DD Lapang’s Congress-led coalition government red-faced after the party’s Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council member Thomas Nongtdu was arrested on June 3 last year on charges of funding the jailbreak. He was released later, but complicated matters earlier this month by saying he had given money to Dhar’s girlfriend Ibatiplang Kharkongor for the aid of an ailing friend.
If that were not enough, two recaptured UTPs stated before the Justice (retired) D Biswas Commission last week that a Congress Lok Sabha candidate was in constant touch with Dhar before the jailbreak.
The Commission is probing the jailbreak case.
Though UTPs Synsharlang Thongni and Khrawborlang Marbaniang did not name the candidate, insinuations made Union Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent Pala deny any links with Dhar.
"I never saw him (Dhar) and I came to know about him only through his photographs," Pala said, slamming the Steering Committee Against Murder of Democracy (SCAMOD) for being politically motivated. SCAMOD, headed by Agnes Kharshiing, had moved RTI to underscore the Congress-criminal nexus.
The UTPs also revealed there was more to Dhar’s jailbreak than met the eye. They said Dhar and his accomplices virtually walked out of prison, and the jail staff did not even make a faint attempt to stop them. The two further stated Dhar had a steady inflow of cash which he freely distributed to the jail staff for favours rendered, such as the smuggling of firearms into the prison.
Promising to cleanse the affairs of the jail administration, Meghalaya director-general of police (prisons) Kulbir Krishan said that reports and confessions of recaptured UTPs pointed to the fact that the inmates had free access to money, special food and liquor in violation of existing rules.