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Violence at Anti-CAA Meet in Meghalaya Leaves 3 Dead, Many Injured

The death toll rose after curfew was lifted in most parts of Shillong early Sunday, 1 March.

Updated
Politics
6 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

The death toll in clashes between tribal and non-tribal groups in Meghalaya rose to three on Sunday, 1 March, as curfew was lifted in most areas of the state barring areas under the jurisdiction of Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations and Cantonment Beat House.

A 37-year-old man was killed by three unidentified people at his home in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district in the early hours on Sunday, taking the toll in clashes between tribal and non-tribal groups in the state to three, police said, reported PTI.

The incident took place in Pyrkan village under the jurisdiction of Shella Police Station, Assistant Inspector General of Police Gabriel Iangrai said in a statement. No one has been arrested thus far in the killing of the man, identified as Uphas Uddin, Iangrai said.

Another Man Was Stabbed with a Broken Glass Bottle, the police said.

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"A 28-year-old man was stabbed with a broken bottle by an unknown miscreant on Sunday evening, while he was walking in the Lower Mawprem area. He suffered shoulder injuries and is under treatment at the Civil Hospital," Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Gabriel Iangrai said on Monday, 2 March, reports PTI.

The situation in Meghalaya is "under control" and additional forces are deployed in vulnerable areas, the AIGP said.

Chief Minister Visits Injured Victims

On Monday, March 2, CM Conrad K Sangma along with his cabinet members, Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui, Health Minister, AL Hek and GAD Minister, Comingone Ymbon visited the injured victims.

After meeting the victims, CM informed the media persons that necessary medical care is being administered to the injured adding that the condition of most of the victims are stable.

He further informed that some of the victims require medical operations to be performed and once these procedures are completed by tomorrow, ‘the injured people should be completely out of danger’.

The chief minister said that all the medical expenditure involved in the treatment of the victims will be borne by the government.

"Our purpose of coming here was to see them (victims) and express our concern and also inform that all the expenditure that will be involved in their treatment including the operations and the medicine expenditures will be completely borne by the government,” he said.

CM Conrad K Sangma visiting the victims of Meghalaya violence over CAA.
CM Conrad K Sangma visiting the victims of Meghalaya violence over CAA.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

At Sohra, the final rites of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm, one of three people who lost their lives, were performed today. His remains were brought to the traditional crematorium at Sohra while his wife and 4 kids mourned at their residence.

Final rites of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Final rites of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Photo Courtesy: Joe Thangkhiew
Final rites of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Final rites of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Photo Courtesy: Joe Thangkhiew
Wife and children of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Wife and children of late Lurshai Hynñiewtamm.
Photo Courtesy: Joe Thangkhiew

Till 1 March, it has been reported that a total of 43 persons were safely ferried from different parts of Shillong to Guwahati.

Press release of special bulletin regarding the violence in Shillong and Jaiaw, Langsning. 
Press release of special bulletin regarding the violence in Shillong and Jaiaw, Langsning. 
(Photo courtesy: Accessed by The Quint)
Press release of special bulletin regarding the violence in Shillong and Jaiaw, Langsning. 
Press release of special bulletin regarding the violence in Shillong and Jaiaw, Langsning. 
(Photo courtesy: Accessed by The Quint)

Curfew Will Be Imposed Again After Exams, Informs Police

Curfew, which was imposed in the city and its outskirts, was relaxed from 6 am on Monday to allow students to appear in board examinations, East Khasi Hills District Magistrate Matsiewdor War Nongbri said, as per PTI.

He, however, said curfew will be reimposed as soon as the exams get over.

The indefinite curfew imposed in areas under Sadar police station, Lumdiengjri police station and those under the Cantonment Beat House will continue, Nongbri said.

Most shops, banks and business establishments were shut and attendance in government offices was thin in the affected areas, officials said.

Sequence of Events

On Friday, 28 February, a tribal was killed as clashes broke out between the Khasi Students' Union members and non-tribals during a rally held in the Ichamati area of East Khasi Hills district close to the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The clashes during the rally, organised against the Citizenship Amendment Act and demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime, led to tensions in parts of the state, forcing the government to impose curfew in two police station areas in Shillong, as well as mobile internet and SMS restrictions in six districts.
Bara Bazar wearing a deserted look following the stabbing incidents on Saturday morning in which one person lost his life.
Bara Bazar wearing a deserted look following the stabbing incidents on Saturday morning in which one person lost his life.
(Photo Courtesy: EastMojo)
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On 29 February, there were further clashes between tribals and non-tribals in Shillong resulting in the death of a migrant worker who was stabbed in the busy Iewduh market.

The victim was identified as Rupchand Dewan, 31 of Laban locality of the city. He originally hails from Bhela Naugaon village of Barpeta district in Assam, reported Highland Post.

The injured are being treated at the Shillong Civil Hospital.
The injured are being treated at the Shillong Civil Hospital.
(Photo: The Quint)

Seven persons were injured in the knife attack in the heart of the city and two of them suffered stab wounds, Superintendent of Police Claudia Lyngwa told PTI.

In another mob attack, a migrant labourer was seriously injured after being thrashed at Sohra market in Sohra Civil Subdivision, the officer said, adding that he has been shifted to the Civil Hospital in Shillong for treatment.

Another person, Wanstar Yourin of Pyrken village, who was attacked by three unknown miscreants at his house was brought to Khamati CHC but the doctor declared him brought dead on Sunday.

What Action Has Been Taken?

Eight persons have been arrested in this case and a magisterial inquiry has been instituted to probe into the incident, officials said.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma reviewed the law and order situation in the state on Saturday, 29 February, and appealed for peace.

"A magisterial inquiry has been set up. We have ensured that enough manpower is put in place in the affected areas," the chief minister said.

He announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the man killed in Friday’s clash.
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Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has appealed to people to maintain peace and not pay heed to rumours and misinformation.

"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 necessary steps. The prime requirement now is to maintain law and order," the governor said.

Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has condemned the incident in Ichamati. Rymbui said a magisterial inquiry has been initiated into the incident to find the truth.

The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is a special pass that Indians have to carry with them when they visit protected areas. The Meghalaya Assembly had passed a resolution in favour of implementation of the ILP, but the home ministry is yet to issue a notification.

The KSU and other tribal groups have been advocating for the ILP to be implemented.

Security Measures

Curfew was re-imposed at Lumdiengjri and areas under Sadar Police Station of Shillong on Saturday, 29 February afternoon.
Curfew was re-imposed at Lumdiengjri and areas under Sadar Police Station of Shillong on Saturday, 29 February afternoon.
(Photo Courtesy: EastMojo)
  • Curfew had initially been imposed on Friday night following the clashes and lifted at 8 am on Saturday. However, it was re-imposed at noon in the areas under Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations of Shillong town.
  • Night curfew was imposed in the entire city but was relaxed at 8 am on Sunday, 1 March.
  • Five additional companies of armed police forces have been deployed in sensitive areas.
  • Mobile internet services have been suspended in six districts – East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi hills – from Friday night for 48 hours.
  • Officials said SMSes will be limited to five per day.
  • In a statement, the government said that board exams will continue as per schedule in the areas of curfew, wherein the exam hall tickets can be used a ‘curfew pass.’

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