In Shillong, the capital of the North-eastern state of Meghalaya the curfew has been extended till the 18th of August in connection with the violence that erupted after the killing of a militant Cherishterfield Thangkhiew. The entire state has been shocked at the multiple cases of arson, stone-pelting, vandalism on Sunday and throughout Monday. In the wake of the situation that arose, the Home Minister of the state Lahkmen Rymbui has resigned and called for a judicial probe “to bring out the truth”. To prevent the situation from worsening, the internet services have been blocked for 72 hours in four districts and central forces have been deployed with the CM Conrad Sangma asking for the deployment of additional companies of the forces from the centre.
There are multiple videos floating around the internet that shows the sorry state of affairs in Meghalaya. In one video we can clearly see that the police personnel sre allegedly abandoning their service weapons amid violence and the arms were later picked up by some people who allegedly carried out arson attacks in the state capital.
Chief Minister Sangma condemned the incident saying police personnel’s arms and weapons were as good as parts of their body and said, “What happened yesterday was unacceptable, whether on the police personnel’s part or that of the individuals who had taken them. We are very firm on this and will take firm action on this.”
A video of a group of masked people torching police vehicles has emerged since yesterday’s violence. Some of the persons involved were reportedly seen carrying the cops’ weapons even as they drove the automobiles around the city.
In a separate incident, petrol bombs were hurled at the CM’s official residence to which he said that such acts were “meaningless”.
Thangkhiew, 57, was the founding general secretary of the separatist HNLC and In October 2018, he “surrendered” to the government and also maintained that he had “retired”, mostly because of ill health.
Meghalaya Police said that he became active in the last six months and they had “clear indications” of his involvement in two low-intensity blasts in July and last week. Meghalaya DGP R Chandranathan told the media that police had “clinching evidence” of his involvement and a tip-off that another blast was being planned so they went to pick him but he attacked the team with a knife in an attempt to escape and the police exerted their right to “private defence” by firing a single round, which hit him and he died on the way to the hospital.
The situation in the state still remains tense as the CM talked to Union home Minister Amit Shah regarding the deployment of additional companies of central armed forces.