KSU picketing affects functioning of govt offices in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Jan 8 (UNI) Normal functioning of government offices and financial institutions were affected in the three districts of Meghalaya following picketing by Khasi Students' Union at offices.

The office picketing was called by the KSU in the three districts of East, West and Ri-Bhoi of the state. The students' body is demanding the scrapping of the power agreement inked between the state government and private companies.

The district administration, earlier, clamped prohibitory orders in East Khasi Hills district in view of the two day office picketing. The district administration promulgated Section 144 of the Cr P C with a view to ensuring smooth movement of government and bank employees to discharge their duties.

The order also prohibited carrying of arms, lethal weapons, explosives and inflammable substances and assembly of five persons or more in the entire district.

Attendance at the state and central government offices was thin.

In banks too, there was negligible presence of staff.

''The functioning of office is normal and there was no report of any untoward incident,'' Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee told UNI here.

Yesterday, Mr Chatterjee directed all government employees to attend their office during the KSU-sponsored picketing. He warned of stern action against those who failed to attend their official duties.

Officers allotted with vehicles were directed to bring them to office. Failure to do so will result in vehicles being withdrawn from them, Mr Chatterjee said.

Security personnel were seen patrolling the city to ensure smooth movement of office goers.

Meanwhile, the KSU is demanding the deal be scrapped immediately terming it as a ''total-sellout of the people's interest.'' The KSU took out a protest march from its office at Jaiaw to the Secretariat yesterday. The march passed off peacefully barring a few stray incidents of stone pelting.

The office picketing continued today also after, which the KSU would meet again to chalk out its future course of agitation. KSU President, Samuel Jyrwa warned of an intensified agitation if its demand were not met.

One of the key coalition allies of the MDA government, the UDP, yesterday stressed that a Cabinet meeting should be convened immediately to resolve the impasse. '' The Cabinet must sit and decide on this contentious issue,'' UDP President and Deputy Chief Minister, Donkupar Roy said.

Although, Chief Minister D D Lapang promised a cabinet sitting it is yet to materialize.

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