TURA, Sept 14 – The three day dawn to dusk total shutdown called by the Garo outfit GNLA to demand withdrawal of security forces operations against them came to a peaceful end on Wednesday evening with no untoward incident reported from any part of the Garo Hills.
The bandh was total in the entire western region of Meghalaya as people stayed indoors and government employees failed to attend office fearing reprisal attacks. There was no vehicular traffic and the three district headquarters of Tura, Williamnagar and Baghmara wore a deserted look with only security forces out on patrol in the streets.
The bandh had a total effect throughout the Garo Hills with the plain belt region of West Garo Hills also remaining closed unlike on previous occasions.
The plain belt towns of Singimari, Rajabala, Phulbari, Mahendraganj, etc., witnessed a deserted look as traders kept their shutters down. The recent kidnapping of a top contractor from Rajabala, Abdul Rashid, apparently created a fear psychosis.
The one day bandh on August 16 called by the GNLA resulted in violence with the militants opening fire on coal truckers who did not obey its closure. Two truckers were killed. The militants also entered a remote village in Chokpot and shot dead an elderly man accusing him of collaborating with police.
The outfit’s most daring raid on that day was the attack on the government Block office in the heart of Chokpot town. Heavily armed militants came down from the nearby hills and hurled grenades and opened fire at the Block office.