Violence erupts as bandh against civic polls begins in Shillong

A bridge was burnt and three vehicles were set on fire today as a three-day shutdown against the October 29 municipal polls was called by the Joint Action Committee in the three districts of Garo hills.

Shillong: A bridge was burnt and three
vehicles were set on fire today as a three-day shutdown
against the October 29 municipal polls was called by the Joint
Action Committee in the three districts of Garo hills.

A PWD timber bridge was burnt at Rangmal Badeng, near the
entry point to Williamnagar, the district headquarter town of
East Garo Hills district.

"Fire tenders doused the fire before it could destroy the
entire bridge," deputy commissioner Pravib Bakshi said.

Three trucks coming from Assam were also damaged when the
trouble-makers tried to torch them at Bajendoba.

Bakshi said two cases were registered against the Joint
Action Committee, which has called the shutdown, for the
incidents.

No untoward incidents were reported from West Garo Hills
and South Garo Hills even as business units were closed and
traffic was thin on the highways. There was over 50 per cent
attendance in government offices as the authorities arranged
for transportation, officials said.

The JAC, a conglomerate of several organizations, has
called the strike from today in the three districts protesting
against the first-ever municipal elections.

The JAC fears that the elections will `violate the Sixth
Schedule of the Constitution and lead to erosion of powers of
traditional bodies like the Council of Nokma (village
council)`.

PTI