STAFF correspondent SHILLONG, Dec 12 - Normal life came to a grinding halt this evening in the Meghalaya capital after cases of arson and stone pelting were reported from different localities here. Meanwhile, curfew was imposed on certain pockets in the Meghalaya capital from 10 pm tonight, and mobile Internet services have been suspended by the State Home Department for the next 48 hours in the entire State.
Police personnel keeping vigil at Motphran area in Shillong on Thursday. – UB Photos
The first incident was reported in the busy Police Bazaar area, where miscreants set a private vehicle on fire. The other incident was reported at Jaiaw, where another private vehicle was set on fire. The fire brigade doused the fire at both the places.
Incidents of stone pelting were also reported in Polo. No one was, however, injured in these cases.
As soon as these incidents happened, shopkeepers downed their shutters and panic-stricken people rushed out from these areas. There were massive traffic snarls in major parts of the city as people rushed towards their homes.
As news of the arson in the Police Bazaar spread across the State capital, shops and other business establishments in other areas also shut down.
“Two cases of arson were reported, one in the Police Bazaar and the other in Jaiaw. There was also stone pelting in Polo. Everything is under control now,” East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Matsiewdor War said.
The curfew has been imposed under the Lumdiengjri and Sadar police stations. The areas under these police stations include Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Mawprem, Lamavilla, Raithsamthia, Police Bazaar, Jail Road, Keating Road, Polo, Qualapatty, Sunny Hill, Cantonment, Boucher Road, Mawlong Hat, Wahingdoh, Mission, etc.
The curfew will remain in force till further orders, War said.
Mobile Internet services have also been suspended in the State. “Various reports and inputs have been received from the police headquarters that a law-and-order situation prevails within the State of Meghalaya having potential threat to public safety,” a notification of the Home Department said.
It further added that text messages and social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other online platforms have the “potential to cause civil unrest and exacerbate the law and order situation” through transmission of information through pictures, videos and text. Therefore, under Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and with the temporary suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, mobile Internet and data service have been suspended for the next 48 hours.