Shillong: Normal life was crippled in Meghalaya on Thursday in response to a 12-hour bandh called by pro-Inner Line Permit activists, who demanded introduction of ILP to regulate entry of outsiders into the state.
Markets remained closed and the state capital wore a deserted look with no vehicles except ambulances and security vehicles doing their rounds.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions and banks were closed and attendance in government offices, including civil secretariat, was very thin, officials said.
Transport services were also affected as taxis, heavy transport vehicles and government-run buses also remaining off the roads.
Heavy security was in place in areas in the state capital identified as vulnerable to attacks, a senior police officer said.
The state government, which voted out the popular demand to implement the ILP during the autumn session of the Assembly, recently, had proposed of a stronger legislation in the form of a Bill to regulate landlords and verify tenants in the state as a measure to curb influx.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the government is constituting a special court to try cases related to bandhs.
At least 13 pressure groups led by the influential Khasi Students Union (KSU) and the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) insist that no other laws will regulate the entry of outsiders into the state better than the ILP which is effective in other NE states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
The pro-ILP activists in Meghalaya, like their counterparts in Manipur, have charged the Congress with double standards and discrimination since the ILP is in force in other states of the region.
Over 50 activists arrested till date is likely to face trial by a special court constituted by the state government especially to try sponsors of bandhs and blockades in violation of the Supreme Court orders.