GUWAHATI: Meghalaya capital Shillong was on the edge on Friday following Thursday’s group clash between a group of bus drivers and the locals of Them Metor, also known as Punjabi Line.
The district authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew at 14 locations in the city to thwart any untoward incident.
East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner (district magistrate) PS Dkhar told The New Indian Express that the situation in areas where curfew had been clamped was tense but under control. The rest of Shillong is all free, he said.
Asked what triggered the incident, he said, “It was due to an eve-teasing kind of a thing and the fight started from there”.
According to an unofficial narrative, a stationary bus had blocked the way of a non-local girl who was going to fetch water and this led to an argument between her and the bus drivers. Soon, the residents of the area got involved and they allegedly beat up the handyman of a bus.
Later in the evening, as rumours spread through the social media that the handyman, who is a local, succumbed to his injuries, a mob, comprising hundreds of people, swarmed to the area but it was stopped on the way by the police leading to a pitched battle between both sides during which some people, including a journalist, was injured.
A mob tried to go to the violence-hit area on Friday as well but it was prevented on the way by the police. The protestors demanded the persons, who had beaten up the handyman, be handed over to them.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma held a meeting with Home Minister James Sangma and senior police officials on Friday to assess the situation. He appealed to people to maintain calm.