Curfew relaxed for 16 hrs in Shillong, internet remains shut

Shillong Meghalaya

Shillong, Dec 20 : Curfew was relaxed for 16 hours in two police station areas in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong on Friday while the mobile internet services continued to remain suspended for the past ten days, officials said.

The Meghalaya Assembly unanimously on Thursday adopted a resolution requesting the Centre to promulgate the inner line permit (ILP) in the mountainous state to keep the state out of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Several agitating bodies have welcomed the state government’s move.

There has been no fresh trouble over the CAA across the mountainous state for the past several days.

According to an official of the district administration, District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills, M. W. Nongbri on Friday issued an order relaxing the curfew for 16 hours from 5 a.m. in areas under Lumdiengjri police station and the Sadar police station.

“As precautionary measures, the curfew would be reimposed in these two police station areas from 9 p.m. on Friday night till further orders,” the official added. The curfew was imposed in Shillong and its outskirts on December 11 following the protests against CAA.

The shops and markets, government offices, educational institutions, all banks were open and vehicles plying as usual.

People, specially the women were busy in Christmas-eve shopping.

Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said that the government would relax prohibitory orders to allow people to celebrate Christmas.

“Decision on resumption of mobile internet services would be taken soon after a review meeting of senior government officials,” Sangma said.

Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (COMSO), a conglomerate of agitating bodies said the demand for the regulatory permit would continue until the union Home Ministry gives its approval.

COMSO Chairman Robert Kharjahrin said: “This is a matter of pleasure that the state Assembly cutting across party lines adopted resolution on ILP, but we have only achieved 50 per cent. The COMSO would pursue the matter till the Central government and the President gives stipulated approval.”

The one-day Assembly session had been convened with one-point agenda — to pass the mandatory resolution, before the Union Home Ministry issued a notification to enforce the ILP. The state cabinet had approved the resolution on Tuesday.

Last week, Sangma had led a delegation of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) to meet Home Minister Amit Shah to demand introduction of the ILP in Meghalaya.

“We discussed the ILP and other issues with the Home Minister who assured us of a positive response,” said Sangma.

The ILP is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur and was notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a stipulated period.

The CAA will not apply to the ILP and the Tribal Autonomous District Council (TADC) areas. In the four Northeastern states there are 10 TADCs, constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. While Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram have three TADCs each, Tripura has one.

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