Shillong, Mar 2 : Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday said that the overall law and order situation in the violence-hit areas of the State is under control, but tense. Night curfew has been reimposed from 1800 hours on Monday evening till 0600 hours on Tuesday on the entire Shillong agglomeration to prevent any untoward incident.
Mobile internet services remained suspended from Friday night in six districts (East, West Jaintia Hills, East, West, South West Khasi hills and Ri-Bhoi districts) following the violent incident in Ichamati village on Friday after a Khasi Students’ Union member Lurshai Hynniewta. Four shops taken on rent by “non-tribals” were burnt down in Photkroh village, about 60 Km from Mawkyrwat, the district headquarters of South West Khasi Hills by miscreants in the early hours of Monday morning. Police said they are investigating into case.
Curfew was relaxed from 6 am in the state capital to enable students to attend their 12th board exams today with their admit cards serving as curfew passes. There was adequate deployment of state and central paramilitary forces in the State capital and Sohra and the examination were held smoothly. However, many students their parents and teachers were confused with the curfew timings although the administration made its best effort to announce the timings.
“The overall law and order situation is under control and as a government it is our responsibility to ensure that we take all precautionary measures,” Sangma told reporters after visiting the injured persons in Shillong civil hospital.
He said the government is also communicating with different stakeholders and appealing for peace and no violence in the state. The victims include those stabbed in Iewduh, the main market of the city, and village headman who was attacked in Ichamati village in the past three days by unidentified persons. The stabbing incident was after the death of a Khasi Students' Union member on Friday last in Ichamati village along the Indo-Bangla border.
Apart from the injured, two other persons were killed after the death of the KSU member. Eight persons have been arrested for allegedly being involved in the death of the KSU member. Sangma visited the victims along with Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui, Health Minister, A.L.Hek and General Administration Department Minister Comingone Ymbon and senior government officials. A suo-moto case has been filed on the stabbing cases and the Superintendent of police, East Khasi district Claudia Lyngwa and her team are investigating.
“No arrests have been made in the stabbing cases and the two other deaths that occurred during the three days of violence. There are some leads... we are trying to find out the details into it. We have made some steps forward...," the Chief Minister informed. Sangma informed that Central paramilitary forces have been deployed mostly in the state capital and also Sohra sub-division. "The Home Ministry has responded very quickly they have sent the manpower to us immediately and we are still awaiting for two more companies to come. I am in touch with the MHA and PMO on a daily basis," he said.
Asked if the attack on the KSU activists was pre-planned at Ichamati village on Friday, the Chief Minister said, “It is difficult for us to say whether it is a pre-planned or not. When we saw the meeting (anti-CAA meeting) went off peacefully. I think it indicates that things were quite normal and everything was normal.
So what led to things happening post the meeting got over quite sometime after that because the leaders and most of the people had already left the location.” “Therefore, it is not proper for me to say that right now or to conclude anything but in principle it is difficult to say right now but we are waiting for the inquiry report then only will be able to say,” Sangma said.
The government has instituted a magisterial inquiry to probe into the Ichamati incident. Friday’s clashes broke out following a meeting against the CAA and to demand Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya. The leaders of the KSU and Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People had organized an anti-CAA public meeting in Ichamati village.
On the board examinations being held as per scheduled today, Sangma said, postponing the exams would have affected more than 80,000 students. Further, he urged all political parties to stay united and ensure safety of the citizens. "This is not the time to play politics," Sangma said. On the other hand, the funeral of the KSU member, Lurshai Hynniewta was held today at Sohra which was attended by several people including Sports Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh, Jason Mawlong Umsning and Latiplang Kharkongor Member of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.(UNI)