Ground Zero Report On Meghalaya Situation & Why It's Different From Delhi Anti-CAA Protest

General News

Opposition jumps into a bandwagon to link the Meghalaya clashes between alleged Bangladeshi immigrants and Khasi Students' Union to anti-CAA Delhi violence

Written By Anirudha Bhakat | Mumbai | Updated On:
Meghalaya

As soon as the tension sparked in Meghalaya on February 28, following clashes between alleged Bangladeshi immigrants and Khasi Students' Union, the opposition jumped on the bandwagon to link it with anti-CAA violence in Delhi. However, this couldn't have been further from the truth as the situation in Meghalaya is entirely different from that in Delhi. 

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What happened on February 28

The Khasi Students' Union was holding a public meeting in the Ichamati area of Shylla in East Khasi hills. It was a pro-Inner Line Permit meeting, something the KSU has been demanding for the last more than two decades. The KSU activists finished the meeting and were almost moving back to their respective places after lunch when suddenly they were attacked by a mob. The violence claimed the life of an activist of the KSU identified as Lurshai Hynniewta. 

As soon as the news of the attack on KSU spread, the situation turned tense across the State. The State government acted swiftly and suspended the internet across the State, apart from imposing curfew in Shylla, the epicentre and parts of East Khasi Hills.  The rumour mongering led to further tension in Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya on February 29. Curfew was imposed in Shillong as well. 

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Ground Zero Situation as on March 3

The situation is still tense in East Khasi Hills. Curfew is on and off in certain parts of the State including Shillong. Eight companies of CAPF have been deployed. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is taking a minute-to-minute briefing on the situation. Normalcy expected to return soon. However, night curfew will continue for some time, informed Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to Republic Media Network. Internet suspension might continue, a review meeting for the same will take place at 10 pm on Tuesday. 

Demands of Khasi Students' Union 

The porous Indo-Bangladesh border has posed a major threat to the Northeast as the region is being used for illegal influx into India and Meghalaya is no exception. The demand for Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya has been a demand for the last more than two decades and KSU has been leading it from the front. Speaking to Republic Media Network on Tuesday, Lambok Marngar, president of KSU said that ILP is the only solution to this unrest. 

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The stand of the State Government 

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has said that the issue of Inner Line Permit  (ILP) is with the MHA and they are reviewing it. The State Assembly has already passed a resolution earlier for the same. Meanwhile, Governor Tathagata Roy said to Republic Media Network that KSU can demand ILP but in a peaceful manner and not through violence. 

How Meghalaya unrest is different from Delhi's anti-CAA protest 

First thing first, the Citizenship Amendment Act is not at all applicable to the State of Meghalaya. Secondly, the Inner Line Permit has nothing to do with the CAA. So, linking Delhi anti-CAA violence with Meghalaya unrest is redundant and could be a case of political vendetta.

KSU has extended its support to the anti-CAA agitation. The concern of the KSU is in regard to Assam and the support they have to the All Assam Students' Union, being part of the Northeast Students' Organization. Speaking to Republic Media Network, KSU President Lambok Marngar distanced himself from the anti-CAA violence in Delhi clearly stating that the concern for them is Meghalaya and the ILP.  Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to have made it clear that the State has its own issues and the opposition instead of linking incidents should work towards bringing normalcy.

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