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Total Curfew Imposed in Shillong, Mobile Internet Banned in Parts of Meghalaya After Violence Mars I-day Celebrations

Shillong: A total Curfew was on Sunday clamped in Shillong while mobile internet snapped in several parts of Meghalaya following violence during Independence Day celebrations during the day. The curfew was imposed in Shillong from 8 pm on Sunday till 5 am on Tuesday (August 17, 2021). Stray incidents of vandalism and arson were reported, having the potential to disturb public peace and tranquility and cause a threat to public safety, Home Secretary CVD Diengdoh said, quoting reports from the police headquarters.Also Read – Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Resigns Amid Taliban Takeover, Flees to Tajikistan: Sources

Mobile internet was stopped for 48 hours, beginning at 6 pm, in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, and Ri-Bhoi districts, officials said.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has offered to quit from his post over the law and order situation in the state. “Today, I had a meeting with the party president & senior members of the party where I explained to them regarding the Aug 13 incident (encounter of a former militant). I’ve decided to write to CM to relieve me from the home department,” news agency ANI reported Lahkmen Rymbui as saying.

Here’s What Happened

Reports of violence came from aforesaid areas as Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, a militant who had surrendered, was laid to rest at a cemetery in Shillong after being killed by police in an encounter at his home on August 13.

Thangkhiew was suspected to be the mastermind of a spate of IED attacks since his surrender in 2018, police said.

Director-General of Police R Chandranathan said there was ample evidence against Thangkhiew when he sent his team to arrest the ‘retired’ general-secretary of the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

Thangkhiew allegedly attacked the police with a knife when his home was being raided, provoking a retaliatory shot in which he was killed, Chandranathan had said.

Supporters Seen With Black Flag

Hundreds of his supporters carried black flags as his body was taken to the cemetery. Government vehicles were vandalised and a police vehicle was set on fire at Jaiaw area of Shillong allegedly by his supporters, police said.

Banning mobile internet, the chief secretary said, “Messaging systems like SMS, Whatsapp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are likely to be used for transmission of pictures, videos and text and have the potential to cause serious breakdown of law and order.”

The curfew was imposed in Shillong through an order issued by East Khasi Hills district administrator Isawanda Laloo.

(With PTI inputs)

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