Army hold flag march in curfew-hit Shillong, rescue 500 people

02 June 2018, 07:10 PM
Army hold flag march in curfew-hit Shillong, rescue 500 people
Army hold flag march in curfew-hit Shillong, rescue 500 people

Curfew continued in few parts of Shillong for the second day on Saturday as the Army conducted flag marches in the curfew-hit areas and rescued many people following night-long violence and arson during which a mob set a shop and a house on fire and damaged at least five vehicles in Shillong. A police officer was also injured in the incident, officials said on Saturday.

The Army was ordered by the state government to conduct a flag march in the affected areas. The troops rescued about 500 people including 200 women and children, Defence spokesperson Ratnakar Singh said.

The rescued civilians were given food and water and were sheltered at the Army cantonment, he added.

General Officer Commanding 101 Area Lt Gen D S Ahuja visited the affected people at the Army cantonment.

On Friday night, Superintendent of Police (City) Stephan Rynjah sustained severe injuries after being hit by a rod. He was later admitted to the Shillong Civil Hospital, a senior police officer said.

At least 10 persons, including policemen, have been injured in the violence, which has triggered demands that the government take action against alleged illegal settlers in the area.

State police personnel were attacked by stone pelters in the Motphran area of the city.

Tear gas shells were used to shoo away rioters but the people in other parts of the city misunderstood them for police firing, the officer added.

The clashes which later turned serious, begun after a bus conductor was allegedly assaulted by a group of residents of Them Metor area on Thursday afternoon.

Trouble escalated when rumours spread on social media that the handyman had succumbed to injuries, prompting a group of bus drivers to converge at Them Metor. The police had to fire teargas shells to disperse them, officials said.

The handyman and three injured persons were taken to a hospital where they were released after being administered first aid.

The East Khasi Hills district authorities had imposed night curfew in the entire city from 10 pm till 5 am to maintain peace and prevent arson, they said.

Four persons, accused of being involved in the assault of three local boys, have been arrested, they said. As many as 11 persons have been picked up in connection with the case so far.

Meanwhile, suspension of Internet services has been extended by 24 hours till tomorrow afternoon to prevent rumour-mongering.

The Home Department will review the overall situation later today.

The curfew, which was imposed since 4 am yesterday in at least 14 localities under Lumdiengjri police station and Cantonment Beat House, continues, District deputy commissioner P S Dkhar told PTI.

He said that there was no curfew in Police Bazaar and Iew Duh (Bara Bazaar) areas even as shops, schools and banks in these areas remained closed.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who chaired a high-level meeting yesterday, had appealed for calm and urged the people to help bring back normalcy in Shillong.

Meanwhile, several groups including the Khasi Students Union (KSU), the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep Youth Council demanded that those involved in the assault of local boys be punished and the illegal settlers at Them Metor evicted.

"We demand that the government arrest those involved in the assault of the sons and nephew of the bus driver. The government should also compensate the three victims," KSU president Lambok Marngar told PTI.

The government should evict illegal settlers at Them Metor which is adjacent to IewDuh, said the KSU leader.

"Them Metor has become a den for anti-nationals and it is sad that several governments in the past have not taken initiatives to evict them and provide them space somewhere else," said FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani.

First Published: Saturday, June 02, 2018 07:05 PM
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