Shillong, May 15 (IANS) Normal life came to a standstill in the eastern part of Meghalaya on Monday during a 12-hour shutdown called by three organisations over the alleged enrolment of bogus voters in the state's electoral rolls.
Almost all government establishments, including financial and educational institutions, remained closed in all the four district headquarters of East, West Khasi, Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi.
National Highways No.40 and 44, the lifelines for landlocked Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur and southern Assam, were also affected by the shutdown.
"Thin attendance was recorded in all government offices," Meghalaya Chief Secretary W.M.S. Pariat told IANS, adding that there was no report of any untoward incident during the shutdown.
The Khasi Students' Union, the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front have demanded the immediate suspension of enrolment of voters and the closure of special counters for registering prospective voters in the deputy commissioners' office.
The organisations have also alleged that numerous migrants have been enrolled in the voters' lists without a thorough verification of their antecedents.
However, the state government has been maintaining that the enrolment has been done as per the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India.
On May 8, cutting across party lines, political leaders decided to constitute an all-party committee to examine certain clauses of the Election Commission's (EC) voter enrolment guidelines without infringing the constitutional panel's mandate.
"An all-party committee would formulate friendly and effective voters enrolment guidelines for the state. The amended version would then be sent to the EC for approval," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said.