SHILLONG, June 11: There was a pall of tension at Iawmusiang in the heart of Jowai town in West Jaintia Hills (WJH) on Monday resulting in the closure of business establishments owned by non – indigenous people.
The violence had erupted after Talbinus Dhar (24) sustained an injury on the head after he was assaulted by a non-tribal who was working in a mobile shop at Iawmusiang market, police said.
The incident took place when the accused objected to Dhar’s smoking inside the shop which ultimately led to a heated argument and a scuffle during which Dhar was hit on the head with a plastic containing a hard object, according to police.
Following an FIR filed by Dhar, police immediately arrested the accused who was remanded to 14 days police custody. Police however decided not to reveal the name of the accused.
Soon after the news spread, a large crowd which include some members of the NGOs gathered and marched towards the Jowai Police Station and from there followed the police personnel who were taking the accused to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, about 100 meters away.
In order to prevent any untoward incident while the accused was being produced before the court, the district police chief Vivek Syiem along with district magistrate SC Laloo immediately intervened by talking to the agitating crowd which later agreed to disperse from the DC’s office.
However soon after this, the crowd led by some members of the NGOs again took out a protest march towards Mihmyntdu village, which is located along the national highway-44.
All the shops owned by non-tribals were asked to close down by the protesters during the march.
Later after returning from Mihmyntdu, the crowd again gathered in front of the mobile shop where the accused was working near Thomas Jones College in which the SP and the district magistrate again had to intervene and ask them not to assemble in the place.
The SP had also appealed to the crowd to calm down and not to be misled by vested interests who are trying to take advantage of the incident.
Meanwhile, the district administration immediately promulgated section 144 CrPC prohibiting assembly of people in and around the market area.