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Amid Unrest, Internet Banned in Meghalaya for 48 hours

Meghalaya has been tense since the alleged extra-judicial encounter of ex-HNLC militant Cherishterfield Thangkhiew.

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Amid Unrest, Internet Banned in Meghalaya for 48 hours
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Internet services have been banned for 48 hours in the four districts of Meghalaya following unrest over the past few days, in the aftermath of the encounter of former Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant Cherishterfield Thangkhiew, reported EastMojo.

“…reports have been received from Police Headquarters, Meghalaya, Shillong, that incidents of vandalism and arson which have a potential to disturb public peace and tranquility, and cause a threat to public safety, have occurred in East Khasi Hills District and adjoining Districts which may likely create severe breakdown of law and order.

Whereas, messaging system like SMS and Whatsapp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be used for transmission of information through pictures, videos and text and have the potential to cause serious breakdown of Law & Order,” said a notification issued by C.V.D. Diengdoh, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Home (Police) Department.

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“Therefore in order to prevent the misuse of the above mentioned media to disturb peace and tranquility in the State of Meghalaya and for maintaining law and order… prohibit the following types of media for the next 48 (Forty-eight) hours beginning from 06:00 pm on 15th August, 2021 in the 4 (Four) districts of Meghalaya namely, East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi Districts,” the notification added.

Meghalaya has been on the boil since the the alleged extra-judicial encounter of the ex-HNLC militant and despite the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma saying that they received credible inputs from the intelligence agency of another impending attack, which led the police to act swiftly, few have bought that argument.

The Hynniewtrep Youths’ Council (HYC) on Saturday, 14 August, put up banners at Motphran in Shillong.

The HYC has demanded the removal of Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui and to prosecute Meghalaya Police since the organisation feels that former HNLC general secretary who was killed by the police on Friday, 13 August, was killed in a ‘fake encounter’.

Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai’ (Voice of the people of Mawlai) also urged the people of the state to pay tribute to Cherishterfield by observing 15 August as ‘Black Flag Day’. They have also alleged that what the police has done was an illegal raid and also murdered Cherishterfield.

(The story was first published in EastMojo and has been republished with permission.)

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