Meghalaya unrest: Unraveling The Shillong disaccord
Curfew was imposed in at least four districts of Shillong on August 15 after incidents of vandalism and arson during the funeral procession for Chesterfield Thangkhiew. (File image)

Shillong: Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma has urged the people responsible for damaging and setting a police vehicle on fire at Jaiaw area of Shillong — or whoever has them in possession — to return the weapons that were left behind by policemen amid the curfew on Sunday.

This was after videos emerged on Sunday of masked miscreants armed with weapons taking over the police vehicle, before setting it on fire. The weapons were reportedly left behind by the police personnel.

The police vehicle that was damaged and set on fire by miscreants at Jaiaw area of Shillong on Sunday

Condemning the incident, CM Sangma said that for a policeman, the arms and the weapons they carry are as good as part of their body and that they should never ever let go of their weapon.

“That incident is completely unacceptable by the government. Officials and policemen who were involved in deserting their weapons have been suspended and an inquiry initiated against those individuals,” said Sangma, adding: “We will take firm action on this.”

The chief minister has urged all the people involved in the incident and who may have the weapons to immediately return them to the police department.

According to Sangma, there were four police personnel in the vehicle. While one ran away with his weapon, the other three deserted their weapons at the spot.

Also read | It is time Meghalaya govt moved on from internet bans and curfews

Meanwhile, commenting on the two petrol bombs hurled at his private residence in upper Shillong on Sunday night, Sangma said that such activities are meaningless. “We are here trying to work together to resolve issues and different kinds of elements are trying to create unrest,” he said.

“This is not the way forward. I appeal to all the residents of the state, and especially those involved [in the unrest], that they must be peaceful and resolve issues in a proper manner. Violence is not the way forward. We condemn it and will find out who is responsible for it,” said Sangma.

Meanwhile, commenting on the resignation of home minister Lahkmen Rymbui, the chief minister said that he has received the letter from him but he has not yet made a decision.

“As CM and the government, I have to look at all aspects of the state’s security and situation. So, keeping all these aspects in mind, I will examine and take a decision at the appropriate time,” said Sangma.

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