SHILLONG, June 04: Protesters aggressively engaged with police and CRPF personnel for the fifth day on Monday after having been forced out from ground zero on Sunday night. To contain the situation Army had to carry out flag march twice in the day.
Army carried out flag march in disturbed and other areas of Shillong city at about 4.30 PM and 10.30 PM. Two columns of fully armed troops in vehicles were deployed in the Flag March. Earlier, Army had to carry out flag march on Friday, the second day of violence.
Defence PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said more flag marches may be planned in case the need arises.
Normal life remained affected as day and night curfew continues in the 14 localities under Lumdiengjri Police Station and Cantonment Beat House forcing shutters down at the two main markets here.
Monday also saw night curfew being is imposed from 4 PM to 5 AM of Tuesday in Shillong Agglomeration. However, indefinite curfew in areas under Lumdiengjri Police Station that is Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Riatsamthiah, Wahingdoh, Mission, Mawprem, Lumdiengjri, Lamavilla, Qualapatty, Wahthapbru, Sunny Hills ,Contonment, Mawlong Hat including Contonment Beat House Areas excluding localities beyond Umshyrpi bridge shall continue until further order, informed District Magistrate, East Khasi Hills District.
He said early clamping of night curfew was necessitated due to serious breakdown of Law and Order in Shillong City (Motphran, Mawkhar and adjoining areas), wherein there is every likelihood of serious breach of peace which may lead to acts of arson targeting vehicles and causing loss of life and property, with the likelihood of the breach of peace spreading to other parts of the city.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the night curfew was promulgated from 10 PM to 5 AM.
On Sunday night, a section of the mob moved to Mawlai area at night after they were forced out of their hideouts at Mawkhar and Mission Compound area near Motphran
A senior district official said the police have been sent to the areas they were moving to prevent any untoward incidents.
A police van carrying a patient was overturned by the protesters near Roberts Hospital at Jaiaw last night and a policeman on duty with the van was slapped before he was let off, a police officer said.
As the protesters refused to let off their strongholds in the curfew affected areas, police shelled teargas till late night on Sunday and the sound of teargas guns could be heard from most parts of the city.
As the prevailing law and order in the city has gone from bad to worse, the state government has sought five additional companies of central armed paramilitary forces.
State police chief S B Singh said the Union Home Ministry has granted deployment of additional six companies of central armed police forces to tackle the situation in the state capital here.
“The MHA has granted deployment of additional four CRPF and two ITBP companies. At the ground, the state’s SF-10 commandoes are on the ground besides a company of the CRPF and the existing district forces,” he said.
The Shillong Public Transport Service (public buses), whose handyman was assaulted on May 31 at Them Metor, have been off the streets and the tourists taxis plying between Guwahati and Shillong were also off of road on Monday in protest against a reported attack on one of its member, adding to the problems of commuting in the city.
Meanwhile, Home Minister James K Sangma warned the government will take action against anyone breaking the law and added that security forces are being deployed strategically to prevent further damages.
He also said that the agitators should stop protesting as the government has already met many of the demands which include arrest of the accused in the assault of the bus handyman on May 31.
He said the government has asked for a report for relocation of the illegal settlers at Them Metor from concerned departments and all stakeholders will be engaged to find a solution.