The situation in Meghalaya continued to be tense on Sunday as sporadic incidents of violence against non-tribals were reported.
Curfew and the suspension of mobile internet connectivity continued for the third day in several parts of the state. A 37-year-old man was stabbed to death near Shillong, but police sources said it was possible that the killing was driven by personal reasons.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express that Uphas Uddin was stabbed by three unknown miscreants around 3 am on Sunday at a remote village, Pyrken, near Shella, around 80 km from state capital Shillong. Uddin was declared brought dead at the community health centre at Khamati in the early hours of Sunday.
Police sources said Uddin was reportedly a cattle smuggler and the killing could have taken place due to personal reasons. However, Uddin was married to a Khasi woman, B Lyndai, and that has led to speculation that the attack was a fallout of the ongoing tension in the state between tribals and non-tribals, which has already claimed two lives.
A police statement on Sunday said there were two fresh incidents of violence in the state — one Aditya Kumar (28) was stabbed in the Lower Mawprem area of Shillong with a broken bottle around 9.30 am and later in the evening, cars were pelted with stones on the National Highway in Puriang.
Violence erupted in Meghalaya after a Khasi man, Lurshai Hynniewta (35), was killed in the border village of Ichamati when members of Khasi Students’ Union went there for a meeting to campaign against CAA and demand implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP). Following his death, violence spread to other parts of the state, including capital Shillong, where a group of miscreants stabbed at least 10 people on Saturday. One Rupchand Dewan, a vegetable seller hailing from Assam’s Barpeta district, was killed.
DGP R Chandranathan on Sunday issued an appeal to people of the state “to unite in fighting the menace of propagating and spreading of rumours, hate mongering”.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has also appealed to people to refrain from violence and ensure peace. A release from the Chief Minister’s Office said on Saturday, “The government has taken all measures to maintain law and order.” Ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh has been announced for the next of kin of the deceased.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km long of border with Bangladesh and civil society groups have for long alleged illegal infiltration into the state.
The ILP regulates the entry and stay of non-locals in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and lately Manipur. The tribal groups in Meghalaya have been demanding an ILP and in December last year, the Assembly adopted a resolution for implementing it in the state. In November, the state cabinet approved amendments to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act 2016, which will lead to laws that require non-resident visitors to register themselves — imposing restrictions similar to the ILP system.
Large parts of Meghalaya are exempt from the CAA as practically the entire state falls under the ambit of the Sixth Schedule which signifies special tribal areas of the country.
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