SHILLONG, Feb 29 - Two persons died and several others were injured in violence across Khasi Hills, following which indefinite curfew was imposed in the State capital from Saturday noon.
Curfew was clamped in Sohra (Cherrapunjee) subdivision from last night and has not been lifted.
Violence erupted after a clash between Khasi Students� Union (KSU) members and villagers from the remote Ichamati village along the Indo-Bangladesh border on Friday afternoon. In that clash, one Lurshai Hynniewta, a KSU member was killed, while four other KSU members were injured. Two of them were referred to the Ichamati CHC and later discharged, while two others were referred to the Sohra CHC.
After Friday�s clash, incidents of stabbing were reported in the State capital this morning in which one Rupchand Dewan, a businessman from Barpeta, Assam died of stab wounds. Nine others, including a senior citizen, were injured in knife attacks at different localities of the State capital.
The injured � identified as Akash Ali, Ajay Kuri, Rikesh Das, Satya Modak, Deepak Kumar, Pradeep Kuri, Ronen Shah, Aman Shah and Subham Nath � were admitted to Shillong Civil Hospital. Some of them are reportedly in a critical condition.
Moreover, several cases of arson and stone pelting were reported from different parts of the State.
Two tourist taxis were burned down at Forest Colony here, while petrol bombs were hurled at a printing press owned by one Rajesh Shah at Qualapatty. Stones were pelted on a shop � National Dairy at Mothpran.
Road blockades and arson were reported from different parts of Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts.
To prevent further escalation of violence, eight companies of Central paramilitary forces were rushed to the State, while mobile Internet services have been suspended in six districts � East and West Jaintia Hills, East, West and Southwest Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts) until further orders.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma held a review meeting on the law-and-order situation with Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, Director General of Police R Chandranathan, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner M War and other top officials at the Secretariat this morning.
Later, appealing for peace, Sangma said eight persons have been arrested from Ichamati based on FIRs filed by the KSU. He announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and instituted a magisterial probe into the clash at Ichamati.
The Director General of Police�s office has made emergency arrangements for tourists stranded in the State, especially those at Cherrapunjee. There are reports of several tourists being stranded at Cherrapunjee due to the violence and subsequent imposition of curfew since Friday night. The tourists have been asked to call the emergency toll free number 1800 345 3846 to seek assistance.
Meanwhile, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner held meetings with NGO leaders, rangbah shnongs (traditional heads) of different localities seeking assistance in preventing violence. The rangbah shnongs have demanded immediate lifting of loadshedding from 2 am to 4 am in the State capital so that miscreants don�t take advantage of darkness.
Similarly, East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Claudia Lyngwa is constantly monitoring the law-and-order situation there. �We are alert. The situation is under control as of now,� she said.
According to police, KSU held a meeting on Friday on CAA and ILP at Ichamati village. Soon after the meeting ended, clashes broke out between the KSU members and the �local non-tribal of the area�.
The KSU members then set a haystack on fire and attempted to burn a house. In retaliation, the villagers pelted stones at the bus carrying the KSU members. A local taxi was damaged while the vehicle of EAC J Umdor was also damaged.