Shillong Violence Spreads Despite Curfew, 500 People In Army Shelter

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SHILLONG: the army requested to remain in reserve and the curfew continued in parts of the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong, for the third consecutive day after a night of violence during which a crowd burned a store, a house and damaged at least five vehicles besides hurting a senior police officer. At least 500 people were sheltered in an army cantonment, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. Prime Minister Conrad K Sangma, who presided over a high-level meeting on Friday, has called for calm.

Clashes between the police and the mafia occurred after a bus driver was attacked by a group of residents of The Iew Mawlong area on Thursday afternoon, which led to violence between members of two communities that also left three children injured.

The curfew was imposed in Shillong from 10 pm on Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday to keep the peace after the violence continued in parts of the city. The army held flag marches on Friday. Mobile Internet and SMS services have been suspended indefinitely in Shillong to prevent people from spreading rumors. Eight people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

The government imposed a curfew in the areas under the police station Lumdiengjri and Cantonment Beat House from 4 a. M. On Friday when the riots spread to Motphran, Mawkhar and adjacent areas after clashes on Thursday. However, the angry protesters violated the curfew and continued to face the police and throw stones.

Police fired tear gas projectiles and used batons to control protesters who attacked them with stones between the Mawkhar and Motphran areas.

Police Superintendent (City) Stephan Rynjah was injured after he was hit by a stick and was admitted to the Shillong Civil Hospital, a senior police official said.

Several people, including police, have been wounded in the violence, which has led to demands that the government take action against alleged illegal settlers in the area.