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Conrad Sangma says Shillong violence was sponsored, orders tough action

By Deepika

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday claimed that the Shillong incident was pre-planned and promised that his government will find out an amicable solution to the ongoing squabble between the Khasi and Punjabi communities.

Conrad Sangma

"Yes, there are issues bothering different communities and these have been pending for the last 20-30 years. We've asked for reports and we'll ensure that we find out an amicable solution to these issues. It cannot be on streets but on table where we sit and discuss it together," Sangma was quoted as saying by ANI.

The chief minister also brushed aside reports that some people were being mistreated in the city. "There are reports suggesting that some people are displaced, hungry and beaten up. This is not true. People are safe here and we are committed to ensuring their safety," CM Sangma insisted.

Meanwhile, curfew in parts of strife-torn Shillong has been relaxed for seven hours on Sunday after night-long violence where a mob burnt a shop, a house and damaged at least five vehicles besides injuring a senior police officer.

The relaxation made people in 14 localities under curfew scramble for essentials and provided a window for stranded tourists to exit the Meghalaya capital.

Meanwhile, mobile internet and SMS services have been indefinitely suspended in Shillong to avoid the spread of rumours.

On Thursday night, a violent clash broke out between the police and a mob after a bus conductor was allegedly assaulted by a group of people from the Them Iew Mawlong area.

The situation had become so grave that the Army had to conduct flag marches, and authorities had to suspend Internet services in the city to prevent the hate messages from spreading. At least 10 people have been injured and at least eight arrested, triggering demands that the government take action against alleged illegal settlers in the area.

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