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Fracas over anti-India slogans in city

SHILLONG: Timely intervention by a few senior police officials and traffic personnel prevented a Motphran-like situation at Khyndailad here late Thursday evening.
As per eyewitnesses, the incident started when two hawkers had a verbal confrontation over a sitting place in the area to sell their wares.
Some hawkers alleged that during the verbal duel one of the two hawkers raised an anti-India and pro-Pakistani slogan.
As the confrontation continued, a large number of hawkers gathered and shouted slogans like “Hindustan Zindabad” and “Pakistan Murdabad” and demanded an apology from the person who had allegedly raised the anti-India slogan.
Some traffic personnel, who were nearby, arrived and took the individual to the traffic booth at Khyndailad for his safety.
However, the agitated crowd followed the personnel and gathered around the traffic booth.
They asked the policemen to bring the person out of the booth, but the former managed to keep the situation under control and continued to hold him inside.
The situation appeared to be going out of control, when D K Prasad, DSP, Shillong, arrived on the scene and was able to disperse the crowd numbering over a hundred.
SP (City) Steve Rynjah later said that the accused is mentally unsound.
According to Rynjah, as per the preliminary report, a few hawkers were calling the accused names to which he responded in the same vein. The others then tried to make an issue accusing him of raising anti-India and pro-Pakistani slogans.
As many as four people, including the accused and others who were leading the crowd, were picked up by the police and taken to Sadar police station for further interrogation.
It was alleged that police personnel from Sadar took a long time to reach the site in spite of the traffic police calling them repeatedly for reinforcement
Traffic was brought to a standstill by the mob during the entire episode which at one point of time was threatening to get out of hand. Later a team of SOT was also rushed to the site to contain the situation.

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