Guwahati, June 3: With the unrest escalating in Shillong, the Army has been asked to remain on standby in the violence and curfew hit Meghalaya’s capital city. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has assured to protect the Sikh community residing in Shillong. Sangma has also given a word to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh regarding the safety of Sikhs and their religious institutions in the city. He further assured that he was personally monitoring the entire situation to prevent any kind of violence and outrage in the city. Also, state Home Minister James K Sangma assured the people that the government was keeping a check on the situation and had done everything possible to avert any kind of mishap.

Reportedly, the curfew has been lifted for seven consecutive hours- that is from 8 am till 3 pm in the afternoon. Although the curfew will be lifted for a few hours, restrictions imposed will still remain in place, as reported by senior police personnel. Deputy Commissioner in-charge of East Khasi Hills Peter S Dkhar said, “Curfew would be lifted from 8 am to 3 pm on Sunday in curfew areas under Lumdiengjri Police Station and Cantonment Beat House areas to allow people to get their essential commodities.” He further said that internet had been suspended and will continue today as well. Apart from this, loose sale of petrol, diesel and other flammable items to public has been prohibited.

Commenting on the tense situation in Shillong, Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) SB Singh said, “The situation is now totally under control while curfew remains clamped in several localities in the city since yesterday.” DGP Singh said that the Punjabi locality in the city has been put under high alert and a group of people have been staying there protecting the locality people.

For the unversed, a fight between a Khasi boy and Punjabi woman led to communal clashes in various parts of Shillong, following which curfew remained imposed yesterday in the city. Clashes ensued between police and locals on Friday and the former had to use tear gas shells and baton charge to bring the mob under control. So far, at least four persons have been arrested and as many as 11 persons have been taken into custody in connection with the case.