SHILLONG, Dec 04: The Special Court constituted by the State government for exclusive trial of cases related to arsons during the Inner Line Permit (ILP) agitations has given 30 days time to the pro-ILP leaders of different NGOs to file their written statements.
The Special Court headed by first class judicial magistrate R Rymbai on Tuesday began the proceedings against leaders of 14 pressure groups in the state.
Officials said the Special Court has fixed January 7 next year for filing written statements by the leaders of the pressure groups.
Mentionably, the leaders of the 13 pro - ILP groups failed to appear before the Special Court constituted by the state government to try the cases of arsons that cost the state exchequer Rs 31,09,50,158 as losses during the bandhs, picketing and blockades during the last three months of the agitations on ILP.
In Tuesday’s hearing by Special Court, only the Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) president Agnes Kharshiing and general secretary W Thabah deposed.
The special court of Rymbai has begun proceedings against 28 leaders of 14 pressure groups including the frontal organizations like the Khasi Students Union (KSU), the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and 11 others in a damage suit filed by the state government.
The damage suit was filed by B Khongwir, the Political Department Under Secretary.
He stated that the government incurred Rs 31.09 crore as loss during bandhs, picketing and blockades called by the pro-ILP groups since September 2 which affected the normal functioning of government and businesses and considered as unconstitutional and illegal.
Criminal acts such as arson and violence also took place besides the attacks which eventually led to the death of two persons, he said.
The pro-ILP groups are demanding implementation of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations Act, 1873 which facilitates restricted entry of outsiders to the state as is the case in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.