SHILLONG, June 4: The East Khasi Hills district administration has taken all measures to ensure that the situation in the trouble-torn areas do not get out of control. Till the filing of this report, the situation appeared to have subsided even as the security forces are maintaining strict vigil.
The administration had promulgated curfew in the entire Shillong city with effect from 4 pm on Monday till 5 am on Tuesday after the partial curfew orders in the vulnerable areas of North Shillong failed to reign in the mob till 3 am this morning. A late night order issued by the Deputy Commissioner stated that indefinite curfew will continue in all areas under Lumdiengri police station and portion of the cantonment beat house of North Shillong.
Meanwhile, there were reports of a pitch battle between the mob and the police in and around Mawkhar area of Shillong (North) till the break of dawn. Police had to resort to countless number of tear gas shelling to disperse the mob. Petrol bombs were hurled at the police personnel. One of the crowd even attacked an armoured vehicle of the police force.
While the situation subsided by morning, a large group of people started to assemble in and around Jaiaw, Mawkhar areas before they made their way to the YMCA point. At around 4 pm today, the mob once again started pelting stones at the police personnel prompting the magistrates on duty to order for fresh tear gas firing. The incident lasted for nearly an hour. It was at this time that a group of people numbering about 200 sneaked out from the main theatre and pushed themselves through different routes to reach the entrance of the State Secretariat at around 5 pm violating the curfew orders and Section 144 CrPC.
The State Chief Minister by then was holding discussions on the situation with the members of the political parties followed by a meeting with the traditional headmen of the city. With the mob reaching the entrance of the state Secretariat, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had them called in for a talk which lasted for nearly 45 minutes. Coming out of the discussion with the Chief Minister, a representative of the group said, “We are not part of any organization. The Chief Minister has assured us that our demand to shift the Harijan Colony from the present location will be looked into after consulting the District Council and the Durbar of the Syiem of Mylliem.”
The police then escorted them back to their area.
Meanwhile, the Army carried a flag march in the city during the curfew hours this evening while security has been beefed up in the vulnerable areas of the city. There were also reports of sporadic cases of arson in some parts of the city till early this morning.
The Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills District, Peter Dkhar said today that around 40 people involved in stone pelting were picked up. “The law will take its own to take its own course,” he added.
It may be mentioned that the issue snowballed into a major law-and-order situation due to mis-information that spread through the social media. The Deputy Commissioner also conceded this. Besides banning internet and other social sites, the administration has also warned of serious action against such misplaced informations.