SHILLONG, June 3 - Curfew was relaxed for seven hours today in violence-hit areas here but Internet services remained restricted even as Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said police had found that some people were funding stone-pelters.
�We found out certain people funding the agitation. We will take stern, very stern, action. We have evidence that expensive alcohol and money were given to the stone-pelters,� the Chief Minister said after holding a security review meeting.
Sangma said most of the stone-pelters were �brought in� from West Khasi Hills district and outside Shillong. �We have records and names of the people funding these agitators,� he said without naming the persons involved.
The Chief Minister said the police have exercised extreme restraint over the past few days and now they would �aggressively go after these elements� and appealed to the
people of the localities to bear with the inconveniences.
Some of the affected localities in the state capital are Mawkhar, Jaiaw, Wahingdoh, Umsohsun, Riatsamthiah, Jaiawpdeng, Mission Compound, Mawprem, Lumdiengjri, Lama Vila, Qulapatty, Wahtapbru, Sunny Hills, Cantonment and Mawlong Hat.
The Chief Minister said that a magisterial inquiry has been instituted to get detailed information about the sponsors of this agitation and promised that the people would soon get to know about these elements.
While refusing to pin the blame on any political party, Sangma was quick to warn that the issue should not be politicized or communalized. He further said that he was unaware if the agitation was being sponsored to destabilize his government. �Can�t say anything on that,� he said.
Sangma said the security forces would not be withdrawn from the trouble-torn areas, rather the deployment would be increased if necessary. �We have sought Central paramilitary forces which have been sanctioned and we are constantly in touch with the Union Home Ministry,� he added.
Meanwhile, there were no reports of any violence during the curfew relaxation period from 8 am to 3 pm. The situation is under control and more security reinforcement have been deployed while the Army is on standby.
The East Khasi Hills district authorities said that suspension of Internet on mobiles would continue, besides prohibiting the sale of petrol and diesel in jerrycans, bottles and any other containers to public. They also appealed to the people not to trust false reports in social media.
Indefinite curfew was imposed in areas under Lumdiengjri police station and Cantonment Beat House from 4 am on Friday in view of the law and order breakdown in Motphran, Mawkhar and adjoining areas following a clash.
The Chief Minister said the curfew was relaxed in the affected localities to enable people to attend church service and other activities. However, the decision would be reviewed vis-�-vis the security scenario, he said, adding, the night curfew would continue throughout the state capital from 10 pm till 5 am to ensure safety of the people.