Shillong Clamps Curfew, Bans Mobile Internet Amid Violence; Meghalaya Home Min Offers to Quit
Shillong District Magistrate Isawanda Laloo promulgated total curfew from 8 pm on Sunday in Shillong agglomeration as the situation in Shillong remained tense over a number of stray incidents reported in parts of the town. In her order, the district magistrate said, “in view of the urgency of the matter this order has been made exparte and will remain in force till 5 am of August 7 or till further orders.”
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has written to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to relieve him from the Home (Police) Department with immediate effect, even as he proposed judicial enquiry into the alleged killing of former Militant leader in Shillong.
In the letter, Rymbui said, “Considering the gravity of the situation, I would request you to relieve the Home (Police) Department from me with immediate effect.”
“This will facilitate free and fair enquiry taken by the government to bring out the truth of the incident. I propose judicial enquiry be conducted,” the Minister added.
Further, he expressed shock at the incident where (L) Chesterfield Thangkhiew was killed following the raid of police at his residence exceeding the lawful tenets of the law.
There were incidents of stone-pelting, arson and theft, as the administration said it received information on “a serious breakdown of law & order in parts of Shillong city.”
“There is every likelihood of further breach of peace which may lead to incidents causing loss of life and property, and whereas, there is likelihood that the breach of peace may spread to other parts of the city and district,” the order said.
The curfew is promulgated in whole of municipal area, whole of cantonment area, all areas under Mawlai block including census towns, all areas under Mawpat Block including Census Towns, areas Under Mylliem block from Umshyrpi Bridge upto 7th Mile, Upper Shillong. Madanrting, Mawblei, Laitkor, Nongkseh, Umlyngka, Lawsohtun, Mawdiangdiang, Diengiong, Siejiong.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya government suspended mobile internet and SMS service for 48 hours in wake of incidents of vandalism and arson reported from parts of Shillong, which may disturb public peace and tranquillity, and cause a threat to public safety and likely to create severe breakdown of law and order.
In his order C.V.D. Diengdoh, IAS, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Home (Police) Department said, “….do hereby promulgate this notification under the provision of Section 5 (ii) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, read with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 to prohibit the following types of media for the next 48 (Forty-eight) hours beginning from 06:00 pm on 15th August, 2021 in the 4 (Four) districts of Meghalaya namely, East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi Districts
The state government suspends messaging system like SMS and Whatsapp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be used for transmission of information through pictures, videos and text and have the potential to cause serious breakdown of law & order.
This is done to prevent the misuse of the above mentioned media to disturb peace and tranquillity in the State of Meghalaya and for maintaining law and order.
Mobile internet or data services of all mobile service providers are warned that the violation of this promulgation will be punishable under section 188 IPC and also under the relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885
In one of the stray incidents reported on Sunday afternoon, a police vehicle (black SUV) belonging to the Mawkynroh Police outpost was set ablaze by unidentified youth at Jaiaw on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, stones were also pelted at vehicles plying on the Guwahati-Shillong highway damaging them severely.