After years, city witnesses communal violence in 2018

Looking back

SHILLONG: The year 2018 witnessed one of the ugliest scenes in the state capital after years as violence continued in the city for almost a week following the assault of a few local boys at Harijan Colony.
On May 31, some local boys were assaulted after which a large crowd gathered at Motphran junction in protest. Stone pelting and arson marked the following days.
The violent protest continued for 5-6 days in which many police personnel were injured and many protesters were arrested.
The situation spiralled out of control and the government had to ban internet services in the city for a long time and the army was called in to conduct flag marches CAPF personnel also helped in maintaining law and order. Shillong experienced curfew after a long time.
As the city witnessed chaotic scenes, a popular demand started gaining momentum in the state which was for the relocation of the colony from its present location.
To pacify the situation, the state government set up a High Level Committee (HLC) headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong to find out a permanent solution to the relocation of the colony.
Though law and order limped back to normal police kept on being vigilant and till date, security personnel are deployed at Harijan Colony and Motphran.
HLC immediately started its work and it went through all the documents which it could obtain from various sources to find out whom the land belongs to.
The Land Record and Survey Department had carried out survey in the area amid demonstration by residents.
The Shillong Municipal Board too had conducted an audit earlier but had to face resistance from the residents of the colony.
The residents of the colony have moved the High Court on the matter and the court has asked the state government to exercise restraint on the Harijan Colony issue.
HLC in its last meeting held in November had asked the residents of the colony to come forward and report to the civic board about their occupation and the duration of their jobs.
Recently, the Harijan Panchayat Committee approached the governor to intervene and sought the disbandment of HLC. However, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma ruled out the demand and maintained that the committee would continue its work.

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