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ILP bandh peaceful, normalcy crippled throughout State

Rhino Almost the entire State was brought to a grinding halt as the 12-hour bandh called by pro-ILP groups demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the State took its toll on Friday.

The shutdown, however, was peaceful and incident free.

In the capital city, the otherwise busy roads wore a deserted look with educational, financial and business establishments keeping their shutters down.

Attendance was dismal in all the State Government offices in the city.

However, traffic personnel were seen at various junctions in the city despite the absence of vehicular movement. Security personnel kept vigil throughout the day in vulnerable areas of the city including at Khyndailad and Motphran.

East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal, while informing that the attendance in the district was around ten per cent, said that he has sent a report to the Government on the negligible attendance of employees.

East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, M Kharkrang, informed that no untoward incident was reported from any part of the district during the bandh hours.

In Garo Hills, the 12-hour all-Meghalaya bandh was total and peaceful. There was a virtual shutdown of the entire western region of the State as all five districts of Garo Hills were impacted by the bandh with even the minority-dominated plains belt region of West Garo Hills closing down on Friday – a deviation for normal trend.

Barring limited attendance of government employees in the respective DC and SP offices in the five district headquarters, there was no movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the streets and all shops, educational and financial institutions remained under lock.

Tura (W Garo Hills), Williamnagar (East), Baghmara (South),  Resubelpara (North) and Ampati (South West) did not open up for the day during the ILP bandh which was enforced by the Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and its allies.

Even the towns in the plains belt region including Rajabala, Hallidayganj (Singimari) and Phulbari were closed during the bandh on Friday, while only Bhaitbari remained partially open.

In West Jaintia Hills, Government employees defied the bandh diktat to turn up for work resulting in the district recording overall attendance of more than 65 per cent turnout in all government offices.

The DC office at Jowai recorded 90 per cent turnout, official sources informed.

However, Central government offices contributed their bid to the bandh by ensuring total closure.

The high attendance in West Jaintia Hills was the result of transportation arrangements made by the district administration on Friday for all government employees.

The situation was, however, quite contrary in East Jaintia Hills District, where the 12-hour shutdown impacted normal life as well as attendance in Government offices which recorded a meagre turnout of 10 per cent.

Official sources informed that none of the government offices functioned in Khliehriat except for the DC office and the SP office.

In West Khasi Hills District, the bandh called by the pro-ILP groups achieved resounding success. Fearing the onslaught of the NGOs, all offices in the district chose to remain shut throughout the day.

Normal life was completely paralysed with the only visible movement in Nongstoin being those of ambulances and police patrol vehicles.

Things were no different in Ri Bhoi District as there was a complete shutdown of all schools, offices and commercial and financial establishments. The bandh in Ri Bhoi, however, remained peaceful.

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