Tension gripped Meghalaya after a meeting opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and seeking implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime in the state organised by Khasi Students Union in Shella (KSU) turned violent on February 28th, 2020 after it was attacked by non-tribals.
Internet services were suspended for 48 hours beginning 10 PM on February 28th, 2020, in six districts of Meghalaya – East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills – after a person died following the clashes.
A night curfew has been imposed in Shillong agglomeration and adjoining areas from 10 PM on February 28th, 2020, to 8 AM on February 29th, 2020. SMS services have been restricted to only 5 SMS per day in Shillong for the next 48 hours.
Lurshai Hynniewta, a resident of Cherrapunjee, succumbed to his injuries received during the clash between a group of non-tribals and his fellow protestors in Ichamati village of Shella constituency in the East Khasi Hills district.
The KSU members were holding a meeting with local villagers demanding an ILP for the entire state at Ichamati village at Shella. At around 3 pm, clashes broke out between the KSU members and the local non-tribals of the area.
“Thereafter, the KSU members burnt a haystack at the edge of the market and attempted to burn a house. The non-tribals retaliated and stoned one bus carrying KSU members. One local taxi which had gone to collect the KSU members from the Ichamati market after the clashes was damaged, one vehicle of the EAC Smti J Umdor, MCS also got damaged,” according to a Meghalaya Police statement.
The statement added, “Four members of KSU were injured, two were sent to Ichamati CHC and released, two were referred to Sohra CHC. The person driving the local taxi viz Lurshai Hynniewta succumbed to his injuries. Curfew has been imposed in Shillong agglomeration and adjoining areas and internet services have been suspended in the six districts of the Eastern Range as a precautionary measure.”
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma chaired a high-level meeting to review the matter.
On the other hand, the Governor of Meghalaya, Tathagata Roy, took to Twitter and wrote, “I appeal to all citizens in Meghalaya, tribal or non-tribal. Keep calm. Don’t spread rumours and don’t listen to rumours. The Chief Minister has spoken to me. He assured me he is taking all the necessary steps. We are agreed that the prime requirement now is to maintain Law and Order.”