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Curfew relaxed, internet restored in city but shut down in GH

Groups meet GHADC CEM again for removal of non-tribal MDC

SHILLONG/TURA: The city heaved a sigh of relief after mobile internet service was restored on Wednesday. But for residents of Garo Hills, it was time to jeer as internet service was shut down again from 3pm.
As law and order improved in Shillong, the district magistrate relaxed curfew in volatile areas for 15 hours from 5am to 8 pm and this will be effective from Thursday.
The night curfew time has also been revised to 10pm to 5am in the Shillong agglomeration.
The restoration of internet service, which was stopped on June 1, came as a relief to citizens, especially students, here.
The 24-hour internet shutdown in all the five districts of Garo Hills was announced soon after the meeting of several organisations with GHADC authorities.
Earlier, the service was restored on Tuesday after four days.
Both the deputy commissioner and the SP said the shutdown may be due to overall security concerns as rumour mongers have been found to be spreading fake messages and posts on social media over the last few weeks.
Organisations from Garo Hills — GSU, FKJGP, AYWO and ADE — have given the GHADC time till next Wednesday to remove non-tribal MDC Sofiur Rahman from the post of Chairman of the Forest Advisory Board.
Last Friday, the organisations had gheraoed the GHADC demanding removal of Rahman from the post. A meeting later took place on the same day between leaders of the organisations and Chief Executive Member Dipul Marak where they also demanded cancellation of TNT licence given to the proprietor of GLR Pharmaceuticals and removal of Boldamgre Nokma for allegedly selling tribal land to outsiders within a week.
The first deadline to the GHADC is yet to be over.
The pressure groups, who met the CEM again on Wednesday, feel that while Rahman can remain an MDC in the council in the absence of any law barring non-tribals, they are against him holding the post.
Earlier in the morning, there was apprehension among GHADC employees after a large group of people had gathered on the office premises. But nothing untoward happened and pressure group leaders left soon after submitting their memorandum.
This could have prompted the authorities concerned to shut down internet.
However, when asked if it could be due to the meeting at GHADC, district police chief MGR Kumar said it was unlikely but that the Home Department would be able to answer. “I cannot comment on the matter as we were not informed and the order came directly from the Home Department,” he added.

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