As Shillong slowly returning to normalcy, the state government has decided to relax the curfew in the city from 5 am to 4 pm on Wednesday.
After reviewing the law and order situation in the state on Tuesday, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma told media persons that the situation in Shillong is slightly calmer compared to what it was 24-48 hours before.
However, the residents of Mawlai who were agitating against the encounter of the former HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew have rejected the decision of the state government to hold a judicial inquiry into the death saying that they have no faith in such a probe. Instead, they want the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to be entrusted with the job.
The newly formed organization “Ka Sur u Paidbah Mawlai” (the voice of Mawlai people) on Tuesday also declined to be associated with the peace process initiated by the government unless those responsible for surrendered HNLC supremo’s death were brought to justice.
Further, the Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) Coordinator, Herlambok War talking to reporters said, “We are of the view that the NHRC would be able to carry out an impartial probe into the death of Thangkhiew,” War, who is also the Rangbah Shnong of Mawlai Iewrynghep.
He also added that they have decided not to be a part of the Peace Committee formed by the state government under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong.
Demand to Shift the CRPF Camp at Nongkwar
On Monday a delegation of nine headmen from Mawlai Community and Rural Development reminded the government of the need to shift the temporary CRPF camp from a piece of locality land belonging to the Arts and Culture Department.
They met Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong and submitted a memorandum in this regard on Monday.
However, the Chief Minister had discussed the issue briefly with the Inspector-General of the CRPF, who requested the state government to provide an alternative permanent location to set up the paramilitary force’s camp.
Mawlai legislator PT Sawkmie also demanded the shifting of the CRPF camp at Block 9 of Nongkwar as the local people “are always at the receiving end” whenever a law-and-order situation arises.
Condemning the paramilitary force, the MLA said: “The CRPF personnel expected to protect the law are breaking it. The temporary CRPF camp should be removed at the earliest. If they continue to be stationed here, people will not feel safe.”
According to Sawkmie, more than three people were injured during the clashes between the CRPF and the youth at Mawlai Nongkwar Sunday night. Locals claimed the CRPF personnel raided the locality and even entered the compounds of some houses.
There was a large gathering at Nongkwar leading to chaos and the CRPF crackdown.
According to the Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) Coordinator, Herlambok War, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had stated the government would process the relocation of the camps of the paramilitary force.
Mawlai wants no “men in uniform” to patrol the area
The Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) has decided to urge the East Khasi Hills district administration to stop the deployment of police forces through Mawlai, stating that the youth of the area get agitated when they see the cops.
“We are of the view that the youth of the area get agitated if they see the men in uniform given the incident of August 13 (the day former HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew was killed),” MTD coordinator, Herlambok War told journalists on Tuesday.
He further added and ensured that the Dorbar Shnong of various localities of the Mawlai area, along with Seng Longkmie and Seng Samla, would carry out patrolling so that there is no untoward incident.
The state government has sought additional forces from the Centre but War said it is not necessary.
Mawlai Headmen Appealed the unidentified youths to return the weapons seized from Police
The MTD general secretary also said that they are making this appeal following a request from Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma and East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, Isawanda Laloo.
War claimed that the youths had snatched the weapons and the vehicle out of anger and disappointment at how Thangkhiew was killed.
He asked the youths to surrender their arms to any person they trust including the local MLA, MDC, or even the headmen.