GUWAHATI: Curfew was clamped in Meghalaya's capital Shillong for an indefinite period while internet services were suspended for 48 hours in four districts after Sunday’s bout of violence by mobs protesting against the killing of former insurgent leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew by the police two days ago.
"…There have been incidents of stone-pelting, arson and theft, and a serious breakdown of law and order in parts of Shillong city and there is every likelihood of further breach of peace which may spread to other parts of the city and district. I, Isawanda Laloo, District Magistrate, East Khasi Hills District…do hereby promulgate TOTAL CURFEW from 8:00 P.M. of 15th August 2021 in Shillong Agglomeration," an official statement reads.
The state's home department in a notification said mobile internet and data services had been suspended in East Khasi Hills, of which Shillong is the headquarters; West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts in view of the sudden deteriorating law and order situation.
Trouble was brewing since Saturday evening when the miscreants attacked a police vehicle. The slain former rebel leader was laid to rest at around 1.00 pm on Sunday.
The unidentified protestors snatched a police vehicle along with weapons and moved around localities, brandishing the weapons they snatched before setting the vehicle on fire.
They also attacked and vandalised a number of vehicles, including that of the police and tourist cars, by pelting stones. The incidents took place in multiple locations and the situation went beyond the control of the police.
Thangkhiew, the former general secretary of insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), was killed by a joint team of the police of two districts.
Director-General of Police (DGP) R Chandranathan said the cops had raided Thangkhiew’s residence in the wee hours of Friday to make his arrest in connection with a recent IED blast in Shillong but he pulled out a knife and tried to attack the personnel. The DGP said the personnel had to open fire in self-defence in which the former rebel leader was killed.
Meanwhile, taking cognisance of the killing, the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission said: “The instant case appears to have resulted in gross human rights violation.”
The Commission directed the state’s chief secretary to submit a detailed report within 15 days for further necessary orders. It said if the report was found not satisfactory, it would conduct its own investigation.