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5 Jun 2018

Meghalaya to form panel to find a ‘permanent solution’ to Shillong violence

People from different parts of the city stage a protest Meghalaya Secretariat during curfew, in Shillong on Monday, June 04, 2018. )
People from different parts of the city stage a protest Meghalaya Secretariat during curfew, in Shillong on Monday, June 04, 2018. )(PTI Photo)
David Laitphlang, HT, Shillong: Under growing pressure to put an end to the five days of violence in Shillong, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government convened an all-party meeting and announced the formation of a special committee to find a “permanent solution” to the issue of relocation of the sweeper colony from Them Metor, near the city’s Motphran area, where an incident of an alleged assault on Thursday led to clashes between security forces and locals that has paralysed the state capital.

“As a government, we are committed to finding a permanent solution to the long-pending issue of relocation of the sweeper colony,” chief minister Conrad Sangma said after the meeting.

The decision to form a panel was taken after meetings between coalition partners, traditional headmen and hawkers.

The committee will be headed by deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, with home minister James Sangma, urban affairs minister Hamletson Dohling, health minister AL Hek, sports and youth affairs minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, principal secretary DP Wahlang, and leader of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council Pynshngain Syiem as members.

The urban affairs department has been told to submit a report on the sweeper colony, including the legal aspects at the earliest.

The CM also met with a four-member team from Punjab, which arrived in Shillong on Monday to assess the situation.

The team was led by Punjab jail minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who stressed that members of the Sikh community living in the city’s Punjabi Line were “safe” amid widespread claims on social media that the community was being targeted. The delegation will meet the community members Tuesday.

The CM also informed that one B Mirsa, who was arrested on suspicion of allegedly assaulting three members of Khasi community, has been formally charged.

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