Prohibitory orders ahead of protests against uranium project
Shillong: Prohibitory orders have been
imposed in parts of Meghalaya to foil a blockade called by the
Khasi Students Union beginning tonight to protest the proposed
uranium mining project in the state.
"Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been
clamped in view of the blockade call," East Khasi Hills deputy
commissioner J Lyngdoh said.
The night blockade is from 7:00 pm today to 5:00 am.
It will resume at 9:00 pm on Thursday night and continue till
5:00 am on Friday.
The KSU is protesting the state government's decision
to lease 422 hectare to the UCIL in the uranium-rich areas of
the state for taking up pre-project developmental work.
Officials said that if required, Central paramilitary
forces would be deployed to ensure that the blockade did not
affect normal life.
Principal Secretary (Home) Barkos Warjri said SPs have
been instructed to ensure free flow of traffic on highways.
"Instructions have been given to officials to keep government
vehicles in safe custody during the blockade hours," he said.
The government has leased out 422 sq hectares of land
having uranium deposits in the West Khasi Hills for 30 years
to UCIL for pre-project development work.
The UCIL had agreed to earmark Rs 209 crore for
improving healthcare facilities, power, drinking water,
educational institutions and roads.
The mining issue in Meghalaya has been hanging fire
for more than two decades now with some prominent NGOs and
political parties vehemently opposed to the proposal on the
grounds that it would lead to degradation of the environment
besides opening the floodgates for outsiders into the tribal