Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday informed that the government has decided to lift the curfew tomorrow from 6 am till 4 pm, and internet restrictions will be lifted by 6 pm Wednesday.
Sangma said this decision was made early Tuesday morning after discussing with the deputy chief minister, the home minister and the chief secretary. He mentioned that they have left it upon the Deputy Commissioner to come out with the detailed timing of the relaxation of curfew. “We have left the detailed micro decision of locality wise were necessary to the DC who will come out with the detailed timing of the relaxation of curfew but in all likelihood, it will be a general one from 6 to 4 pm. Internet service restriction will end by 6 pm tomorrow,” stated Sangma.
According to the chief minister, the overall situation is slightly calmer. At the same time, the government has started the process of engaging and discussing with different stakeholders including rangbah shnong (headman), religious leaders, senior citizens, organisations and have appealed for peace everywhere. The response has been positive, mentioned Sangma. “So we are working further to ensure normalcy returns to Shillong city and the state as a whole and at the same time we have formed the peace committee which will be meeting tomorrow under the chairmanship of deputy cm,” stated Sangma.
Meanwhile, several citizens have been at the receiving end due to the sudden curfew and internet restrictions. It has seen students facing difficulty at a time when they are on the lookout for admissions for higher education since the result was recently announced. At the same time with COVID-19 restrictions in place, many did not see the curfew coming, hence the citizens of the state did not arrange for essential commodities stocked up.
Mawlai area being the hotbed of the violence that had erupted since August 15, leading to the curfew being clamped, Mawlai representatives, headmen, NGOs and youth bodies met at Mawdatbaki Indoor Stadium in Mawlai, Shillong to discuss the prevailing situation.
Briefing the media following their meeting, the general secretary of Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun, Samran Syiem said that they had made a decision not to accept this peace committee constituted by the govt. “We want justice to be served for Bah Cherishterfield who was killed on August 13. We want immediate suspension of those officials involved in that raid-turned-encounter,” said Syiem.
They have also asked the government to understand the sentiments of the people of Mawlai at such a time of grief caused by the loss of slain ex-HNLC militant Cherish T. Syiem said that the government’s decision to shut down the internet and imposing curfew imposed, was not required since it has been a hurdle for the citizens.
“They can’t treat Meghalaya like Kashmir but shutting down the internet and imposing curfew as soon as there is a law and order situation,” said Syiem.
They have also asked the Deputy Commissioner to empower the local heads to monitor the situation in the locality. As of now, they have asked not to employ any police force in the Mawlai area since they are yet to come to terms with the killing of Cherish T. “As of now Mawlai people can’t accept any police force for their barbaric act. Don’t send any force for patrolling or for any other work in the Mawlai area. Empower local heads so that they can monitor the situation,” said Syiem.
Mawlai-Iewrynghep headman H War has also urged the youths who may have done things in the heat of the moment to return the weapons. The headman said that their names will remain confidential since the chief minister has also given an assurance that there won’t be any action taken against them. “We only urge them to come forward and submit the weapons or even throw it somewhere, just write and mention where the weapons are,” said H War.
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