Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Violence rocks parts of Meghalaya over Citizenship Act
IFP Bureau | First Published: March 2, 2020 08:34:50 am

One person was killed in the early hours of Sunday in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district, taking the death toll to three in violence which has broken out in the state since Friday. The unrest is believed to be linked to the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Uphas Uddin, 37, was killed by three unidentified people at his home in Pyrkan village, Assistant Inspector General of Police Gabriel Langrai said.

The incident comes after one person was killed Saturday in Bara Bazar, Shillong’s busiest market, after a group of unidentified people went on a stabbing spree, attacking “non-indigenous” people, according to a report by The Indian Express. Nine others were injured in the attack.

The second death — a  taxi driver — was killed Friday in East Khasi Hills district after the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) clashed with non-tribals during a rally in Ichamati area, which is close to the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Clashes were also reported from Shillong’s Jaiaw and Langsning, and Sohra (Cherrapunji) town’s Iew Sohra market, leaving at least two non-tribals injured.

Curfew, which was imposed at 9 pm Saturday, was lifted at 8 am on Sunday, barring areas under the jurisdiction of Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations and Cantonment Beat House. Officials said these areas are being kept under indefinite curfew, agency reported.

District Superintendent of Police Claudia Lyngwa said the clashes in East Khasi Hills took place during a rally organised against the Citizenship Amendment Act, in which people demanded the implementation of the Inner Line Permit.

Eight people have been arrested and a magisterial inquiry has been instituted to investigate the incident, she said.

Mobile internet and messaging services have been temporarily suspended in six districts of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills region to curtail rumours that could deteriorate law and order, officials said.

Three companies of central forces have also been deployed in sensitive areas of the district, including in the affected areas of the city.

Governor Tathagata Roy and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma have appealed the citizens to maintain peace. Both had taken to social media to issue their appeals even as mobile internet services were suspended in the six districts.

“I appeal to all our citizens and people of the state to ensure that peace returns and urge upon different organisations to refrain from any violent activity. A magisterial inquiry has been set up. We have ensured that enough manpower is put in place in the affected areas,” said CM Sangma, who also reviewed the law and order situation in the state.

Sangma announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the taxi driver.

Police have set up a helpline number (1800 345 3846) for stranded tourists, and escorted at least 16 of them out of the hill town to Guwahati.

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