A migrant worker was stabbed to death at a market in Shillong, taking the toll in ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribals in Meghalaya to two during the past 48 hours, officials said.
According to police, in the fresh incidents of violence on Saturday, seven people were also injured in the knife attack in the capital city. After a four-hour relaxation, curfew was re-imposed on Saturday in areas under two police stations in the capital city Shillong and Internet services were suspended in six of the eleven districts of Meghalaya following the death of a Khasi Students Union (KSU) activist on Friday.
"Today (Saturday) the curfew was re-imposed in Shillong and outskirts of the capital city under two police station areas -- under Lumdiengjri and Sadar (under East Khasi Hills district). The prohibitory orders would continue until further orders," East Khasi Hills district Deputy Commissioner M. War Nongbri said.
A police official in Shillong said in a clash on Friday between KSU activists and non-tribals in Ichamati area (under East Khasi Hills District), a KSU activist Lurshai Hynniewta sustained critical injuries. Subsequently, he succumbed to his injuries at a health centre in Sohra (Cherrapunjee). At least seven others were also injured in the Friday's clashes. According to the police, the clashes between the KSU members and non-tribals broke out during an anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-ILP (Inner Line Permit) meeting held in Ichamati area of the district on Friday.
The Internet services were suspended in six of the state's eleven districts. These are East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma ordered an inquiry into the incident. Troopers of the central para-military forces have been deployed in the tension ridden areas to maintain law and order. Eight people have so far been arrested after the Friday's incident.
"A magisterial inquiry has been set up. The district and police administrations were ensured that enough security personnel were is put in place in the affected and tension bound areas," the chief minister told the media after a high level review meeting with senior police and civil administration officials. Sangma announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the man killed in Friday's clash.
The night curfew imposed in the Meghalaya capital after violent clashes was lifted at 8 am on Sunday, barring in areas under the jurisdiction of Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations and Cantonment Beat House, where indefinite curfew continued to remain in effect, officials said. The curfew was imposed since 9 pm Saturday, following the death of two persons in separate attacks in Ichamati area in East Khasi Hills district on Friday and at Shillong's Iewduh market on Saturday, they said.
East Khasi Hills District authorities said the curfew was extended in areas under the jurisdiction of Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations Cantonment Beat House over fears there might be a serious breakdown of law and order in those places.
"There is a likelihood of a serious breakdown of peace and tranquillity which may lead to loss of life and property... I do promulgate curfew in these areas from 8 am on March 1 until further orders," District Magistrate Matsiewdor W Nongbri said in an order.
Clashes broke out between KSU members and non-tribals during a rally organised against the Citizenship Amendment Act and demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP), at Ichamati on Friday, district Superintendent of Police Claudia Lyngwa said. Eight persons have been arrested in this case and a magisterial inquiry has been instituted to probe into the incident, she said.