Clashes in Meghalaya over CAA: Toll rises to two, 10 injured; curfew reimposed in parts of Shillong, mobile internet suspended in six districts

  • Parts of Meghalaya remain tense after two were left dead and ten others injured in clashes between two communities

  • Fresh clashes were reported Saturday morning after the 10-hour curfew was lifted in Shillong, causing the curfew to be reimposed in parts of the town

  • Security has been tightened across the state with two companies of Central Reserve Police Force being deployed

Parts of Meghalaya remained tense after two were left dead and ten others injured in clashes between two groups in the past 24 hours over the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Fresh clashes were reported Saturday morning after the 10-hour curfew was lifted in Shillong, causing the curfew to be reimposed in parts of the town.

 Clashes in Meghalaya over CAA: Toll rises to two, 10 injured; curfew reimposed in parts of Shillong, mobile internet suspended in six districts

Representational image. Reuters

“The curfew was lifted at 8 am, and between 11:30 am and noon, clashes occurred in Bara Bazar area, a commercial centre where people from all communities gather for trade,” said Shillong SP Claudia Lyngwa. “Some were assaulted by unknown miscreants. Six were injured, one person succumbed to his injuries, two or three were seriously injured, and rushed to hospital. They are now out of danger. Immediately after, curfew was clamped in the two areas under Sadar PS and Lumdiengjri PS. In view of the prevailing situation, however, curfew has been reimposed in entire Shillong city for 11 hours, from 9 pm to 8 am.”

Security has been tightened across the state with two companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) being deployed, and additional companies are scheduled to arrive, police said. Mobile internet services were suspended for 48 hours in six districts: East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills district.

On Friday, a Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) leader died in clashes that erupted during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Inner Line Permit (ILP) implementation awareness rally in Ichamati. Curfew was imposed in Shillong, Sohra and Ichamati under East Khasi Hills district.

According to police, eight have been arrested from Ichamati in connection with the violence that killed one and injured several others. The deceased was identified as Lurshai Hynniewta, a member of KSU Sohra circle. Sources said he will be laid to rest on Sunday.

While Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has appealed for calm, a review meeting on law and order situation was convened by Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Saturday with the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, top police officials and headmen of different localities. Senior Congress legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh said the government should also convene an all-party meeting to discuss the prevailing situation.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) along with other civil society organisations has condemned the attack on KSU members in Ichamati, and have appealed for peace. The KSU, which is a part of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) had earlier announced of intensifying protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The influential Khasi students’ body had also expressed their disappointment over the unsatisfactory approach by the state government on the issue of ILP implementation in the state.

Much of Meghalaya that comes under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution has been exempted from the ambit of CAA. However, a resolution was passed in the Meghalaya Assembly in December for implementation of the ILP system. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma earlier said his government would continue to engage with the Centre “unless and until complete exemption and protection is provided to the people of the state”.

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Updated Date: Feb 29, 2020 22:48:56 IST