SHILLONG, June 05: The situation in the curfew affected areas and Shillong in general was slowly limping back to normalcy on Tuesday, after five days of violent unrest. Tuesday remained relatively calm throughout the day without any incident of violence reported.
“The situation in the state capital is limping back to normalcy even as curfew is still on in the 14 localities under Lumdiengjri PS and Cantonment Beat House in the city,” East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Peter S Dkhar said.
He said there was no report of any untoward incident in the day from any parts of the city during which the entire state capital was put under curfew from 4 PM on Monday till 5 AM on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the district administration has decided to relax the hours of the night curfew from 6 PM to 5 AM from Wednesday until further orders.
Also, the district magistrate has relaxed curfew in areas under Lumdiengjri Police Station, that is, Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Riatsamthiah, Wahingdoh, Mission, Mawprem, Lumdiengjri, Lamavilla, Qualapatty, Wahthapbru, Sunny Hill, Cantonment, Mawlong Hat including Cantonment Beat House Areas (excluding localities beyond Umshyrpi bridge) on Wednesday with effect from 7 AM to 12 Noon and will be promulgated again from 12 Noon onwards until further orders.
However, the home department is yet to allow restoration of internet and messaging services in the state.
Meanwhile, Army had to conduct Flag March twice on Monday to contain the situation. Army also carried out Flag March on Tuesday at about 4.30 PM in disturbed areas of Shillong city under Command and Control of Lt Gen DS Ahuja, AVSM, GOC 101 Area. Two columns of fully armed troops in vehicles were deployed in Flag March, which helped to bring the situation under control.
Army official also informed that more flag marches may be planned if need arises.
District administration also installed barricades at entry and exit points of Sweeper’s Colony - at Mawlonghat and Bimola Point, to further fortify the area and avoid any breach by miscreants.
Curfew was clamped in the entire city on Monday in view of the likelihood of breakdown of law and order situation and after intelligence inputs indicating that about 500 protesters from different districts entered the state capital, according to the district administrator.
Over 15 companies of CRPFs have been deployed in the vulnerable areas of the state capital since Saturday last and more central armed police forces are expected to arrive anytime, a senior police officer said.
The BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has constituted a high level committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong to find a permanent solution to the issue of relocation of the Punjabi lane at Them Metor near Iewduh, where an assault incident, fanned by fake news on social media, resulted in an uncontrolled clash that has gripped the entire city for six days.
The other members of the committee include Home Minister James K Sangma and ministers AL Hek and Hamlet Dohling and Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chief executive member P N Syiem.
On Monday night, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed that the Urban Affairs department has been instructed to submit a detailed report to the committee on the current position of the Punjabi lane including the legal aspects, past history and all issues concerning the people and the place.
Urging protesters to allow the city to return to normalcy, Conrad said the police have arrested the accused, identified as B Mirsa, for his involvement in the assault of a bus handyman and two others at Them Metor on May 31, 2018.
Earlier on Tuesday, leaders of the United Sikh.org met Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and sought restoration of peace and safety to the Punjabi lane residents.