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Xmas pause in ILP protest

Shillong, Dec. 16: Pressure groups demanding the imposition of the inner-line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya today declared that they would resume their agitation from the first week of January in view of Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The general secretary of the Khasi Students’ Union, Auguster Jyrwa, in a statement said the 13 pressure groups were still firm on their demand for ILP implementation to check influx and illegal immigration into the state.

At the same time, he said the groups, which met yesterday, had unanimously decided to suspend the agitation until the first week of January. “In view of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, we have decided to put on hold our agitation programmes,” Jyrwa said.

He also appealed to people to continue extending their support to the groups until their demand is met.

Since September 2, Meghalaya has witnessed routine shutdowns, night road blockades and pickets of offices as the state government refused to give in to the demand for implementation of the ILP. At least two persons died while several cases of arson were reported, leading to the arrest of numerous pressure groups’ leaders and members.

Tax defaulter held

In a first arrest of a service tax defaulter in the Northeast, a managing director of a mining firm has been held for allegedly evading central levy to the tune of Rs 4.71 crore, reports PTI from New Delhi.

Ashok Jain, managing director of M/s Saumya Mining Limited, a registered entity under the Shillong (Meghalaya) central excise and service tax commissionerate, was arrested for continued default in tax payment, officials said today.

The firm, engaged in coal, uranium and metalliferous mining, did not comment over phone or emails.

The company was providing services of mining of minerals, oil or gas services to M/s Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd at Shella, East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, and has been collecting the service tax but failed to pay the amount to the exchequer, the officials said.

During the course of investigation, it was found that the firm had collected nearly Rs 6.77 crore in service tax for the period April 2012 to October 2013.

However, it paid only Rs 2.06 crore to the government, the officials said. “They are liable to pay interest on the said amount not paid or short paid,” they said.

Jain was responsible for payment of collected service tax to the government. He was arrested from his Calcutta residence on December 10 by officers of Central Excise Commissionerate, Shillong, the officials said. He has been sent to judicial custody till December 24 by a chief judicial magistrate’s court in North 24 Parganas in Bengal.