Security beefed up in Shillong in view of President visit

Security has been beefed up in the city in view of the two-day visit of the President Pranab Mukherjee.

Shillong: Security has been beefed up in the city in view of the two-day visit of the President Pranab Mukherjee, even as an outlawed tribal militant outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), has announced a 36-hour bandh to protest the visit.

The President is scheduled to address the special session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Monday and inaugurate the Innovation Club at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) and also attend its 21st convocation.

Meghalaya Chief Secretary WMS Pariat today reviewed the security preparedness of the state agencies to deal with the visit of the VVIP even as DGP held a separate top review meeting today, official sources said.

In view of the fragility of the situation, additional forces have been drawn from other districts to strengthen the security scenario in the capital, the sources said.

Bomb squads and sniffer dogs have been put into service apart from stationing of security personnel at the sites where the President scheduled to visit, they said.

Meanwhile, in a statement to the media, the HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said the bandh which will be enforced in the entire Khasi-Jaintia Hills region in the state as a "mark of political protest against the two day visits of Mukherjee on the Hynniewtrep land."

"The decision in this regard was taken recently by the collective leadership of the outfit?s high command (in Bangladesh)," he said.

Terming Mukherjee’s visit as an "insult" to the outfit, Nongtraw said October 21 is the 25th death anniversary of Wickliff Syiem, the founder of tribal Nationalism.

Airing its support to the present stir sponsored by pro-ILP activists, the HNLC condemned the "confronting attitude" of the state government on the issue.

"The Congress-led government is in fact compelling more youths to take up arms," he alleged.