Agitated crowds taking to the streets in Ichamati in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Friday
Agitated crowds taking to the streets in Ichamati in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Friday|File image
MEGHALAYA

Meghalaya: 8 held over Ichamati violence, curfew on in Shillong

2 companies of CAPF rushed, 6 more en route to Ichamati where clashes claimed one life on Friday; following this, 1 more killed in fresh violence in Shillong today

Princess Giri Rashir

Princess Giri Rashir

Shillong: Security arrangements have been intensified as the Meghalaya government has requested the Centre for eight companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) to help the state administration to control the prevailing law-and-order situation. Two companies have already reached ground zero at Ichamati in East Khasi Hills district, while six more are en route to the area marked by clashes between two groups on Friday that led to the death of one person.

Following the incident, curfew was imposed in Sohra sub-division from 10 pm on Friday to 1 pm on Saturday and in Shillong from 10 pm on Friday to 8 am on Saturday.

However, in a fresh incident, six persons were stabbed at Bara Bazar area of capital Shillong on Saturday morning, of which one succumbed to his injuries at Civil Hospital. Another critically injured person has been shifted to Nazareth Hospital for further treatment.

Following this, curfew was re-imposed at Lumdienjiri and areas under Sadar Police Station of Shillong on Saturday afternoon. As per latest reports, curfew has been imposed in all parts of the capital town from 9 pm to 8 am.

Meanwhile, a few persons working for the Meghalaya Basin Development Association (MBDA) were beaten up and vehicles damaged at Saw Symper near Weiloi. One of them is said to be severely injured and has been admitted to NEIGRIHMS,

Curfew was re-imposed at Lumdienjiri and areas under Sadar Police Station of Shillong on Saturday afternoon
Curfew was re-imposed at Lumdienjiri and areas under Sadar Police Station of Shillong on Saturday afternoon
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Amid the tension prevailing in Meghalaya, home minister Lahkmen Rymbui immediately held an emergency meeting with the deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills district Matsiewdor War and with the traditional heads.

Addressing the media, Rymbui said that the government is ensuring that the situation is brought under control.

“These are sporadic incidents and that is why the curfew has been reimposed in Lumdiengjri abd Sadar police station areas. So far, the death toll is two – one at Ichamati and the other at Bara Bazar. Two CAPF companies have arrived and six more will reach tonight,” said Rymbui.

Bara Bazar wearing a deserted look following the stabbing incidents on Saturday morning in which one person lost his life
Bara Bazar wearing a deserted look following the stabbing incidents on Saturday morning in which one person lost his life
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When asked about the upcoming board exams that are to be held on Monday, Rymbui who also holds the education portfolio, said that they don’t see the need to postpone the exams and are hoping that by Monday the situation will become normal. He also mentioned that the students should continue preparing for the exams.

Meanwhile, Internet services remain suspended in six districts of Meghalaya --- East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts -- since 10 pm on Friday. SMS services of all mobile service providers also remain hit, being limited to only five SMS per day, a circular issued by the secretary to the government of Meghalaya, home (political) department said.

Several houses were torched following the clash in Shella area of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Friday
Several houses were torched following the clash in Shella area of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Friday
File image

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Police took to Facebook to clarify on the episode on Friday evening, “There was a Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) meeting in Ichamati today [Friday] afternoon. At around 3 pm, after the meeting, clashes broke out between KSU members and local non-tribals of the area. Thereafter, the KSU members burnt a haystack at the edge of the market and attempted to burn a house. The non-tribals retaliated and stoned one bus carrying KSU members. One local taxi which had gone to collect the KSU members from the Ichamati market after the clashes was damaged, one vehicle of the EAC J Umdor, MCS also got damaged. Four members of KSU were injured, two were sent to Ichamati CHC and released, two were referred to Sohra CHC. The person driving the local taxi viz Shri Lurshai Hynniewta, 35 years, S/o Late Serkin Nongkyndrih R/o Khliehshnong Sohra, succumbed to his injuries. Curfew has been imposed in Shillong agglomeration and adjoining areas and internet services have been suspended in the six districts of the Eastern Range as a precautionary measure. [sic]”

Earlier, state chief minister Conrad K Sangma informed that an inquiry has been instituted and different companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) have been deployed. He said that considering the spillover effect in the capital town, Internet has been suspended and curfew clamped since 10 pm on Friday.

The chief minister also informed that as per their information, a meeting on Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and Inner Line Permit (ILP) had ended in Ichamati and people were dispersing when miscreants came in large numbers and attacked the members of the KSU. In that clash, many sustained injuries while a person lost his life.

Meanwhile, home minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that keeping in view the simmering tension, internet has been suspended and curfew imposed in Shillong, Shella and Sohra from Friday night. The home minister also said that the government is taking all measures to contain the violence and restore law and order.

According to a home department notification issued on Friday, SMS services of all mobile service providers have been limited to five per day, besides mobile internet/ data services of all mobile service providers being suspended for the next 48 hours starting 10 pm on Friday in six districts of Meghalaya -- East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills.

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