Authorities in Meghalaya on Monday completely lifted curfew from the 14 “affected areas” of the state capital imposed for the past 80 days following fight between sikhs and drivers of the state-run buses at the Punjabi Lane and the subsequent mob fury on May 31.
The curfew has been imposed beginning on June 1 in the 14 affected areas of Shillong and subsequently in the entire city. After gradual relaxation, the district authorities continued with the night curfew in the 14 “vulnerable areas” which continued till last night.
In an order on Monday, East Khasi Hills district deputy commissioner P S Dkhar lifted the curfew those areas falling under Lumdiengjri PS and Cantonment police beat house.
In view of the improved law and order situation, and in consultation with the police department, curfew has been lifted in the areas it was in force till last night, Dkhar told PTI.
Initially curfew was imposed in the 14 affected localities, but it was subsequently promulgated in the entire after May 31 clash in the Punjabi lane after intelligence inputs indicated that protesters from outside the city had entered the state capital with an intention to disturb peace, he said.
The prohibitory order was lifted in the city earlier, but, the night curfew continued in the 14 affected areas of Shillong.
The Meghalayas capital was rocked following clashes between sikh residents in city’s Punjabi Lane area, also known as the sweeper colony, and drivers of state-run buses on May 31 last.
Severak persons, including some policemen, were injured in the violent fight among sikhs and local Khasis.
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The clashes were triggered after a bus handyman was allegedly assaulted by a group of sikh residents of Them Metor area.
Trouble had escalated when rumours spread on social media that the handyman had succumbed to injuries.
Heavy security was deployed across the city in view of the clashes that injured over 10 people, including policemen and CRPF personnel.
A high-level committee was also formed by BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government to find a permanent solution to the issue of relocation of the Sweeper Colony, inhabited by the Punjabis.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who heads the committee, had said the panel would recommend a feasible and permanent solution to the state government for the relocation of the colony, which has been a long pending issue.