SHILLONG, Aug 6: The police on Thursday resorted to mild lathi-charge and shelling of tear gas to prevent agitators from marching to the State secretariat. The protestors, led by HSPDP legislator from Nongkrem Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, were demanding the withdrawal of the MUDA’s notification on building bye-laws in the Scheduled areas. The protestors, who started their march from Malki Ground in the city, were prevented by the district administration to continue with their march from Barik Point.
However, police could not prevent a section of the crowd who reached the main gate of the secretariat.
The district administration had locked the entry and exit points of the main secretariat building.
There was also heated exchange of words between SP (City) Vivek Syiem and Basaiawmoit at IGP point.
Later, the government invited the protestors for talks.
In the absence of Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma, the protestors met Home Minister Roshan Warjri and Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh.
The meeting which lasted for more than three hours decided to conduct awareness programme by the Urban Affairs Department in the Shillong Master Plan Areas outside the Municipal Jurisdiction.
The meeting also decided that registered documents should not be insisted upon while submitting the proposal for building permission, if not available, especially outside the Shillong Municipal areas.
It also decided that special teams will be set up to expedite issue of occupancy certificate for the completed buildings and that the department will take up the matter with PHE and MeECL regarding issue of water supply and electricity connections to low income group buildings.
However, the fil say on these points is with the Dr Sangma.
Soon after emerging from the meeting, Basaiawmoit again marched towards the IGP point where his supporters were waiting for him.
Addressing the gathering the Nongkrem MLA said that since the Chief Minister is out of station they were not able to push their demands.
“We have to be reasoble also to understand that such a decision requires the presence of the Chief Minister so that he can take the decision together with the cabinet,” Basaiawmoit.
When asked if the decision after the meeting has been diluted Basaiawmoit pointed out to the fact that Dr Sangma was not in office.
“But at least they have been able to removed all the major problem concerning people and which are encountered by people,” he said.
Basaiawmoit also said that there will be more discussions when the group is able to meet the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, the district administration has informed that will file a case against the violators of the section 144 CrPC. According to East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, PS Dkhar a case would be filed against violators of the section 144 CrPC for marching upto the gate of the Secretariat.
According to Dkhar permission was granted to the protesters to hold a public rally at Malki Ground and section 144 CrPC was imposed restricting persons to come within 500 metres to the Secretariat.
East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, Mariahom Kharkrang said that the police maged to control the situation and exercised restraint while dealing with the protestors.
Kharkrang said some police who were injured in the incident were woman police (sub inspector) Laresha Kharja, constable Bablu Barua and constable Ashish Thapa.