SHILLONG(MEGHALAYA): An altercation between a Punjabi woman and a Khasi boy led to protests and violent clashes in Shillong last week, forcing authorities to impose curfew in 14 localities. Clashes were still on in an area near the city's commercial hub until late evening. Officials said at least 10 people had been arrested. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “We are monitoring the law and order situation closely in Shillong. Efforts are being made to bring normalcy in the affected areas. Request the citizens to maintain peace.” Sangma said an emergency meeting was held with his Home Minister and other Cabinet colleagues over the law and order situation.
Stephen Rynjah, Superintendent of Police (City), East Khasi Hills said, “At least 10 people were arrested for separate incidents of violence that began Thursday morning. One among them is an accused in the beating up of a minor boy which led to the violence. The others (arrested) are for the violence last evening. The minor's condition is stable now.” The first incident that took place at the Them Iew Mawlong locality is a Punjabi settlement.
Sources said it all began when a boy, who was on a government-run bus that was being driven by a relative, was assaulted by some residents of Them Iew Mawlong following an altercation with a woman. One source said that the fight happened over the manner in which the bus had been parked in the locality, obstructing residents from fetching water from a public tap. PS Dkhar, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills said the initial incident was a “petty” matter and the situation was quickly brought under control. Violence erupted when a mob including bus drivers rained on the locality to target residents.
“We had imposed curfew on Friday morning. Rest of Shillong remained fine but certain pockets were disturbed. We will consider the situation tomorrow morning and decide whether to lift or relax the curfew,” he said.