Bandh against ban on rat-hole mining passes off peacefully in Meghalaya
Shillong: The 24-hour shutdown sponsored by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) in the Khasi?Jaintia Hills region of Meghalaya to protest against the recent National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruling on banning of rat-hole mining passed off peacefully with no untoward incident, officials said.
The bandh evoked positive response with most people choosing to stay home as business establishments and educational institutions remained closed.
Except for the government offices, all other offices were closed including financial institutions as the banks reported just about fifty per cent attendance and had to be closed.
Vehicles, mostly government and some private ones including taxis were seen plying on the road. State transport buses were also seen plying in different parts of the city.
East Khasi Hills district SP M Kharkhrang informed that no incidents were reported since last night from any part of the city.
He said, "So far it is peaceful and nobody has been arrested."
The state government had made adequate security arrangements to ensure there was no untoward incident even as it urged the public to defy the bandh and had urged the state government officials to attend offices.
Giving statistics of the state and central government offices, a home department official claimed in the East Khasi Hills the attendance was 81.6 per cent, West Khasi Hills 59 per cent, West Jaintia Hills 85 per cent, East Jaintia Hills 55 per cent, South West Khasi Hills 65 per cent and Ri Bhoi district 65 per cent.
The HNLC had given the 24 hours bandh call which began on Tuesday at 6 PM to protest against the NGT ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state. The outfit said such a ban would directly and indirectly affect the livelihood of many people who depend on mining activity.
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