SHILLONG, April 23 – Meghalaya State capital Shillong was today hit by a series of petrol bomb attacks this afternoon with the police saying the attacks were “pre-mediated.” Nobody, however, was injured in the attacks.
At about 2 pm today, a Government vehicle belonging to the Sports and Youth Affairs department was torched by miscreants at Mawkhar. Some time later, motorcycle-borne miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb on a truck near Food Corporation of India godown at Lum Jingshai.
Miscreants also lobbed a petrol bomb at the Narsingh Akhara Ashram near Garikhana around the same time. One person has been detained in connection with the attack on the Ashram.
Moreover, a cowshed at Pynthormukhrah was partially burnt after being hit by a petrol bomb. Throughout the day, incidences of stray violence were reported especially at Bara Bazaar. Miscreants also pelted stones on shops at Rynjah.
“The attacks were premeditated to create a communal unrest in the city by people with vested interest. We have sought additional deployment of force to contain the situation and are on the look out for the culprits,” East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, AR Mawthoh said.
He added the police would take stern action against anyone who tries to disrupt public order. “We would not allow anyone to disrupt peace and would take stern action against those violating the law,” he stated.
Several business establishments downed their shutters much ahead of schedule in different parts of the town and there was general sense of unease with people rushing home early.
Earlier during the day, the Khasi Students’ Union, Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People and other organisations held a public rally at Motphran to protest against alleged “unregulated enrolment of migrants in the State’s electoral rolls.” The rally passed off peacefully, Mawthoh said.
He added that the police was taking extreme precaution to thwart further violence although stating that the situation remained extremely fluid.
PTI adds: Twenty KSU activists were arrested in connection with the arson, the police said.
Meanwhile, the NGOs have threatened to intensify stir against the enrolment of doubtful voters in the State and demanded steps to ensure that migrants and foreign nationals did not get voting rights.
They announced a two-night road blockade in four districts of Khasi Jaintia Hills from April 25.
FKJGP working president Joe Marwein said, there were leaders who were issuing citizenship certificates to prospective voters with doubtful antecedents.
He claimed Election officials in Meghalaya have detected several “dubious entries” in the electoral rolls but cannot take action due to “political pressure”.
Last week, the NGOs had written to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to stop enrolment of doubtful voters.
East Khasi Hills district Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said no complaint has been filed against any doubtful voter in his office. – PTI