Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting after clashes broke out in East Khasi Hills between Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and the non-tribals on Friday. Sangma said that a curfew was imposed on Friday night following the incident. He also said that looking at the situation, internet services have been suspended and police forces have been deployed in the area.
Speaking to the media Sangma said, “I have just chaired a high-level meeting on the issue. The state home minister, the home secretary, DGP and other officials were present. We have so far imposed a night curfew. We will further access the situation and make a decision on the withdrawal of curfew and internal suspension. We have deployed police officials too in the area.”
On the other hand, the Governor of Meghalaya, Tathagata Roy, took to Twitter and appealed to the citizens to stay calm and maintain law and order.
I appeal to all citizens in Meghalaya,tribal or non-tribal: keep calm. Don’t spread rumours and don’t listen to rumours.— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) February 28, 2020
The Chief Minister has spoken to me. He assured me he is taking all necessary steps. We are agreed that the prime requirement now is to maintain Law and Order.
The Meghalaya administration has imposed a curfew in Shillong and adjoining areas and suspended internet services in six districts of the Eastern Range as a precautionary measure.
Curfew has been imposed in Shillong agglomeration and adjoining areas and internet services have been suspended in the six districts of the Eastern Range as a precautionary measure. pic.twitter.com/3QiphFe5Hj— Meghalaya Police (@MeghalayaPolice) February 28, 2020
The internet services have been suspended in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts. The suspension will remain effective for 48 hours with effect from 10 pm on February 28. The decision was taken to prevent misuse of the messaging system like SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. SMS of all mobile services will be limited to five SMS per day.
Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) had called for a meeting at Ichamati on Friday afternoon to discuss the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Inner Line Permit (ILP). The meeting led to clashes between KSU members and local non-tribals of the area.
The state police have alleged that KSU members burnt a haystack at the edge of the market and also attempted to burn a house. In retaliation, the non-tribals pelted stones on the bus carrying the KSU members. A taxi that had gone to receive the KSU members from the Ichamati market was damaged in the clashes and four of the KSU members were injured. The driver of the taxi succumbed to injuries, after which the curfew was imposed in the eastern range.