Uneasy calm, city peaceful

A government office in the city wears a deserted look on Friday. (ST)

SHILLONG/ TURA/ NONGPOH, Nov 25: The capital city remained by and large peaceful on Friday even though an uneasy calm prevailed in the city following the non-cooperation movement called by the pressure groups.
Police said there was no report of any untoward incident in the city.
Most of the government offices in the city wore a deserted look on Friday as government employees heeded the call from pressure group to avoid attending offices.
Attendance was down to 40-45 per cent in the Main and Additional Secretariats. Majority of the Directorate offices of various departments witnessed a thin attendance except for senior officers. The counters of the North Treasury and District Transport Office (DTO) were completely shut. The entry gate of the MBoSE office, Shillong was closed. Officials said that the attendance in the DC office was normal on Friday.
It was reported that members of the pressure groups had fanned out to the government offices and banks and directed the employees to close down. One such scene was witnessed at the SBI office at Malki.
Following the widespread violence on Thursday and anticipating further trouble, most shops in the commercial hubs of Police Bazar and Iewduh remained closed.
There was less traffic on the roads and only a few pedestrians were seen.
Security personnel were seen manning different areas of the city. There was heavy deployment of police and CRPF personnel outside government offices including in the Secretariat Hills and Lower Lachumiere.
In contrast, the eastern periphery of the city like Laitumkhrah and Nongthymmai witnessed normal scenes with shops remaining open and traffic seen on the roads.
The movement of interstate traffic between Meghalaya and Assam remained affected for the fourth day on Friday while the tourism sector has suffered a massive hit since the Mukroh killings on Tuesday.
In Nongpoh, there was a heated exchange of words between the district magistrate and members of the KSU, FKJGP, HNYF and RBYF when they tried to prevent employees from attending to their duties over the NCM call.
Pressure group also stopped the interview for various posts scheduled to be held at the PHE office in Nongpoh. The NCM call by the pressure group was successful even in the Garo Hills districts and South West Khasi Hills.
The NCM lasted for two hours in Tura and remained peaceful.
Most offices in Jowai and Mawkyrwat also remained shut and employees returned home.
In Mawkyrwat, members of pressure groups were seen asking government employees to support their agitation in protest against the inability of the government to protect its own people at the border.
Later, they closed down different government offices in Mawkyrwat area including the office of the KHADC, Superintendent of Fisheries, District Mission Coordinator (SSA), Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Department, Sub-Divisional Soil & Water Conservation, Executive Engineer PWD (Roads), Block Office Mawkyrwat and others.
President of the KSU Mawkyrwat Circle Pauldeep Tongwah said a candlelight vigil will be organised at Mawkyrwat at 5 pm on Saturday to pay tribute to the victims of the Mukroh firing.
HITO protest venue shifted
The Hynniewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) on Friday said the proposed venue for the ‘red flag’ rally on Saturday has been shifted to U Soso Tham auditorium premises from 3 pm.
In a statement, HITO president Donbok Dkhar sought people’s participation in the rally.
“We also appeal all businesses to remain open as usual as our battle is not against any individual or community, but solely against the respective state governments which have failed to abide by the Constitution on guaranteeing the freedom of life and livelihood of all citizens,” Dkhar said.