Shillong peaceful as curfew lifted briefly, more relaxation on Thursday

Shillong, June 6 (IANS): With no untoward events reported during the curfew relaxation in violence-hit areas of the state capital on Wednesday, authorities decided on a slightly longer relaxation on Thursday.

 

Internet on mobile telephones however remained suspended.

 

Curfew was relaxed on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 12 noon after the security situation showed some improvement.

 

“We have decided to further relax the curfew in 13 tension-hit areas under Lumdiengjri Police Station and Cantonment Beat House on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. since the situation is improving and there have been no reports of any untoward incident,” Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district P.S. Dkhar told IANS.

 

The 13 areas are located near Iewduh, one of the busiest markets in the northeastern region.

 

On the other hand, the timing of the night curfew in Shillong Agglomeration remained unchanged from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

 

“Though the situation in the area is slowly limping back to normalcy, we are keeping a close watch on the situation and the Army is still on standby,” Dkhar said.

 

Curfew was imposed in some areas on June 1 following violence involving members of the Punjabi and indigenous Khasi communities. The clash erupted after a bus conductor was allegedly assaulted by a group of people residing at Sweepers Lane area on May 31.

 

Sweepers Lane, known to the local people as Them Metor, is located in the commercial area of Shillong near Iewduh and is inhabited by Sikhs.

 

But for more than two decades, several indigenous Khasi civil society groups have demanded to re-locate Sikh inhabitants, living there since British times, as most of them are “illegal settlers”.