Scuffle breaks out between protesters and city police
Pressure groups burn effigies of Conrad Sangma, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Amit Shah near CM’s Bungalow
SHILLONG, Nov 26: The tongue-lashing by pressure groups against the government over the firing incident in Mukroh village continued on Saturday at the Chief Minister’s doorstep as a large group of men gathered near the CM’s Goodwood Bungalow to stage their protest by burning effigies of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
However during the protest, a scuffle broke out between members of the pressure groups under the ‘Save Hynniewtrep Mission’ and the police near the CM’s Bungalow. The scuffle ensued after Superintendent of Police (City), Vivek Syiem, tried to snatch one of the effigies from the members of the pressure groups.
The leaders of the pressure groups then had to intervene to calm the members down.
Despite the scuffle, the police and magistrates stood their ground not allowing the pressure groups to burn the effigies near the entry gate of the CM’s official residence.
After a long argument, they finally moved and burned the effigies near the entry gate of the Orchid Hotel, Polo.
However, there was another scuffle after the effigies were burnt, this time near the gate of Orchid Hotel, Polo.
The members felt provoked as two police cars came out of the blue and passed by them.
The agitated groups then cornered the SP (City) as he tried to calm them. The members argued as to why the police were trying to provoke them.
Later, president of Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) Robertjune Kharjahrin questioned the decision to not allow the peaceful protest outside the CM’s official residence.
Talking about Section 144 CrPC which was imposed in Shillong Kharjahrin said it was done to prevent citizens from agitating as such incidents could possibly cause the MLAs who are part of the MDA government to lose the Assembly polls.
He then questioned the government’s decision to suspend mobile internet services and pointed out that the move has affected the student community, especially as examinations are under way in most schools.
“The suspension of the internet was to minimise the damage of the NPP in the upcoming Assembly polls,” the HYC president said.
“I fear that the people might kick him (Conrad Sangma) out of the CM’s residence if the government failed to resolve the boundary dispute before elections,” he added.
‘Agitations not targeted’
The ongoing agitations are not ethnic-oriented or a Khasi-Assamese conflict but are directed towards the Assam and Meghalaya governments for their “indifference and lethargic” approach in resolving the border dispute for the past 50 years resulting in the loss of several lives, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and Shillong Socio-Cultural Assamese Students’ Association (SSASA) said in a joint statement.
“The KSU and SSASA want to convey that the fight is against the Assam Government and the Government of Meghalaya for their nonchalance towards solving border issues which have plagued the lives of common people living in these areas from time to time and not against the Assamese community whether in Shillong or elsewhere in Meghalaya,” the statement said.
The two organisations have appealed to the general public not to be swayed by rumours and misinformation but to ensure that the brotherhood is maintained by both communities, especially in Shillong and Guwahati, while also asking them to refrain from mudslinging and posting negative comments on social media.