Friday, December 2, 2022

Candle light vigil turns violent in M’laya

Correspondent

Police fire tear gas at crowd; miscreants hurl petrol bombs

Tension gripped Meghalaya’s state capital Shillong on Thursday after a candle light vigil turned violent, as hundreds gathered at U Kiang Nangbah monument opposite Shillong Civil Hospital, to protest against the firing incident along Meghalaya-Assam border on November 22 where six persons were killed.
The candle light vigil was jointly organised by five pressure groups– Khasi Students’ Union, Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, Jaiñtia Students’ Union and Ri-Bhoi Youth Federation in memory of those killed in the firing incident at Mukroh, West Jaintia Hills district. Police fired tear gas at the protesters after miscreants lobbed petrol bombs and pelted stones at police personnel.
“We resorted to tear gas firing to prevent further escalation,” Sylvester Nongtnger, the district police chief of East Khasi Hills, told this Correspondent.
Besides damaging public properties and assaulting people, police said the miscreants also torched a traffic booth and attempted to burn down a bus, ferrying CRPF personnel.
Nongtnger said three women constables were also injured during a scuffle with the protestors.
A retired police official was assaulted at Bishnupur area by several masked men while others were assaulted in different parts of the state capital, police said.
The protestors also did not heed to the request from the organisers to maintain calm after the candle light vigil. Shops and other business establishments downed their shutters right from afternoon in the bustling market areas, while traffic on the road was thin. There was a sense of fear among the residents with apprehensions that the security situation would further deteriorate.
Among other demands like setting up police outpost at Mukroh village, they also demanded appointing a Director General of Police from the indigenous community.
On the other hand, Hynniewtrep Integrated Territorial Council has announced a “red flag day” and a candle lit vigil outside Assam House at Dhankheti on Saturday as a mark of protest against the killings.
East Khasi Hills police have been escorting tourists out of the state capital from Sohra and other places.
Meanwhile, Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Thursday demanded better security for the people living along the Meghalaya-Assam border.

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