Shillong, June 13: Mobile Internet services were restored in Shillong, and Khasi and Jaintia hill districts of Meghalaya today, 12 days after violent clashes between local Khasi people and Sikh community members rocked the areas.
The state had been in the grip of violence since May 29 following a fight between Sikh residents in city's Punjabi Lane area, and Khasi drivers of state-run buses. More than 10 people, including policemen and CRPF personnel, were injured in the clashes that followed the fight.
Mobile Internet and messaging services were suspended on in seven districts of Khasi and Jaintia hills region June 1, a day after a bus handyman was assaulted by a group of residents of Them Metor area leading to rioters attacking police at Motphran area. Messaging service was restored on June 7, and mobile Internet service was restored from today.
"The home department, which reviewed the situation today, has lifted the order of suspension of mobile Internet services," East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner P S Dkhar told PTI. Shillong falls in East Khasi district.
He said the decision was taken after the government received inputs from the police that the situation has returned to normal. Dkhar also said that night curfew imposed in the 14 affected localities under Lumdiengjri police station area and Cantonment Beat House has been further relaxed by two hours.
Night curfew in the affected areas will begin at 8 pm and end at 5 am the next day beginning from today, he said, adding night curfew in the entire state capital is yet to be lifted and will remain in force from 10 pm till 5 am the next day. While the two parties involved in the violence had reached a compromise, rumours of the death of the victims spreading on social media had led to protesters assembling in Punjabi Lane area and violently attacking security forces there with stones.
The district authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry headed by Additional District Magistrate I Majaw to probe into the incident and identify rumour-mongers. According to Deputy Commissioner P S Dkhar, two persons were arrested in the assault case at Punjabi Lane.
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 residents of Sweeper Colony, inhabitated by Punjabis. Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who heads the committee, had yesterday said the panel would recommend a feasible and permanent solution to the state government for the relocation of the colony, an issue which has been pending for long.
Tourism in the scenic hill city popularly known as the "Scotland of the East" had taken a beating following the clashes. However, tourist inflow has been increasing for past few days following improvement in the situation.