SHILLONG: The situation in trouble torn Shillong is fast returning to normal in the aftermath of five days of unrest that rocked the capital city of Meghalaya with curfew being relaxed in many areas of the city.
But, now the focus has shifted to demands of the agitators for relocation of Punjabi lane residents locally known as Them Iew Mawlong area after the government formed a high level committee to look into the matter.
The member of the National Commission for Minorities, Manjit Singh Rai, who had arrived in Shillong yesterday evening to assess the ground reality , wanted to know the 'logic' behind shifting the residents of Punjabi Lane. Notably, these residents, mostly sweepers, belonging to the Sikh community have been staying here for nearly 200 years.
Interacting with media after his visit to the disturbed areas and meeting with the affected people, who are now taking refuge in a temporary makeshift camp, Manjit Singh Rai questioned as to how they can be shifted as they have been residing there for a long time.
"It will be like shifting them from their homes," he said.
Mr Rai also said that he will 'submit a report' to the Centre on the present condition of the Sikhs in the state.
Meanwhile, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managament Committee (DSGMC), General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa while speaking to UNI said, "I had a meeting with the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma who assured me that the view points of all will be taken into consideration while reaching a decision on the resettlement of Punjabi lane residents into other areas of the city. And I am hopeful that chief minister will keep his promise".
Mr Sirsa, however, categorically said that at any cost Gurduawara which is present in the Punjabi lane cannot be shifted or demolished.
"It's an issue between local sikhs and others in the state. We have no problem if they are shifted to other place with suitable compensation. But at any cost the holy place of Sikhs Gurduwara cannot be shifted," Mr Sirsa said.
Three days after the unrest in Shillong broke out, a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) visited the trouble-torn Punjabi Lane area on Sunday and dismissed reports of Sikhs in Shillong being under threat from the Khasi community.
The delegation, comprising DSGMC president Manjit Singh G K, Manjinder Singh Sirsa and K S Bhogal among others, spoke to people of the Sikh community before holding a meeting with Conrad Sangma. Notably, in all the skirmish Sikhs in Shillong were safe and the administration provided them with all the necessary security. There has been no report of any violence against member of Sikh community in the state in last five days.
The Amarinder Singh Government in Punjab is also sending a four-member team, headed by Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, to Shillong, to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, an official statement said in Shillong agglomeration, curfew will be from 6 pm to 5 am from today. Earlier, the timing was from 4 pm.
The district magistrate also relaxed curfew from 7 am to 12 noon in areas under Lumdiengjri police station, that is Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Riatsamthiah, Wahingdoh, Mission Compound, Mawprem, Lumdiengjri, Lamavilla, Qualapatty, Wahthapbru, Sunny Hill, Cantonment, Mawlong Haat, including Cantonment Beat House areas (excluding localities beyond Umshyrpi bridge).