Curfew continues in parts of Shillong after night-long violence; Army conducts flag march

A day after violent clashes erupted between the police and an unruly mob, Army conducted flag march in some parts of the Meghalaya capital.

Curfew continues in parts of Shillong after night-long violence; Army conducts flag march
Pic courtesy: PTI

Shillong: Curfew continued in parts of Shillong for the second day on Saturday after night-long violence. Superintendent of Police (City) Stephan Rynjah sustained injuries after he was hit by a rod and has been admitted to the Shillong Civil Hospital.

At least 10 people, including policemen, have been injured in the violence, which has triggered demands that the government take action against alleged illegal settlers in the area. State police personnel were attacked by stone pelters in the restive Motphran area of the city. Teargas shells were used to disperse rioters but people in other parts mistook it for police firing,  a senior police officer on duty was quoted as saying by PTI.

Meanwhile, the Army conducted flag march in some parts of the Meghalaya capital. The flag march was conducted late on Friday in the Motphran area after the clashes broke out in the city a day earlier. 

"The army is on standby and will be deployed if the situation warrants. The situation is still tense but under control," Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, Peter S Dkhar told IANS on Saturday.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who chaired a high-level meeting on Friday, had appealed for calm and urged the people to help bring back normalcy in Shillong.

The clashes had begun after a bus handyman was allegedly assaulted by a group of residents of Them Metor area on Thursday afternoon. Trouble escalated when rumours spread on social media that the handyman had succumbed to injuries, prompting a group of bus drivers to converge at Them Metor. The police had to fire teargas shells to disperse them, officials said. The handyman and three injured persons were taken to a hospital where they were released after being administered first aid.

The East Khasi Hills district authorities had imposed night curfew in the entire city from 10 pm (Friday) till 5 am (Saturday) to maintain peace and prevent arson. One person, accused of being involved in the assault of three local boys, has been arrested and the police are looking for his accomplices. The curfew, which was imposed since 4 am yesterday in at least 14 localities under Lumdiengjri police station and Cantonment Beat House, continues, District deputy commissioner PS Dkhar told PTI. He added that there was no curfew in Police Bazaar and Iew Duh (Bara Bazaar) areas even as shops, schools and banks in these areas remained closed.

Meanwhile, several groups including the Khasi Students Union (KSU), the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep Youth Council demanded that those involved in the assault of local boys be punished and the illegal settlers at Them Metor evicted. The KSU leader also said that the government should evict illegal settlers at Them Metor which is adjacent to IewDuh.

(With Agency inputs)

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