Situation tense, under control

Section 144 CrPC imposed, Central forces deployed in JH

People gather at the site of the incident on Thursday. (ST)
People gather at the site of the incident on Thursday. (ST)

JOWAI/SHILLONG: Uneasy calm prevails in the twin district of Jaintia Hills even as the administration has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC.

In an official notification, the administration on Thursday restrained assembly of more than five people on the road along the National Highway NH-44 besides carrying any weapon.

Meanwhile, the state government has deployed two companies of para-military forces in East Jaintia Hills and one company of BSF in West Jaintia Hills.

The Government has already instituted a magisterial inquiry headed by SS Syiemlieh, ADM. Syiemlieh has been given 30 days’ time to complete the probe.

The terms of reference of the inquiry include the need to ascertain the facts and circumstances leading to the firing incident resulting in the death of two persons.

The inquiry will also ascertain whether the law and order arrangement was adequate.

Meanwhile, the State government reiterated its firm commitment to maintain law and order and to ensure that the security of its citizens is not compromised in any way in the state.

“Persons calling such strikes will also be responsible for any damages/loss caused to public/private property under the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order Act and will be liable to compensate any loss,” a government statement said.

The economic strike began at 5 pm on Tuesday and agitators were preventing the flow of traffic along the NH 44. District authorities have already imposed section 144 CrPC along the NH 44 in East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills and East Jaintia Hills district. The economic strike in East Jaintia Hills has also cut off traffic to other states – Tripura and Mizoram, and parts of Assam and Manipur, officials said.

The situation in East Jaintia Hills district was brought under control following an initiative taken by prominent residents of the district along with the Dorbar Shnong of Wapungskur.

“The dorbar shnong and the district administration decided to shift the bodies of Derest Siangshai and Setlang Phawa, who died in yesterday’s police firing to Khliehriat CHC last night but the crowd did not allow us,” said the one of the village elder, Jerly Ryngkhlem.

The two bodies were lying on the road for 21 hours – since 6:00 pm Wednesday till 3:00 pm Thursday. Additional District Magistrates, D Phawa and RS Manner conducted the inquest and subsequently the bodies were shifted.

The bodies were later handed over to family members.

Shops and business establishments in various parts of the district kept their shutters down on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Roshan Warjri has said that law and order situation has improved in East Jaintia Hills a day after the two people were killed in police firing on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with Jaintia Hills-based MLAs, Warjri said that there was no incident in East Jaintia Hills and the situation is limping back to normal.

Lyngdoh said that the additional forces have also been sent to the district to oversee the law and order situation.

Meanwhile, the Dorbar Shnong of Wapungskur has urged the State government to pay compensation of Rs. 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

The Dorbar Shnong also demanded that the government should provide a government job to one each of the victim’s family. The Dorbar shnong also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

According to a release, the Dorbar shnong has also decided to lodge a complaint with the National Human’s Rights Commission, India against the killing of innocent people by police.

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