Pro-ILP shutdown ends peacefully

A couple enjoys a walk with their kid on an empty city road during the 12-hour bandh called by pro-ILP groups on Thursday; (ST)

SHILLONG/JOWAI/ TURA: Normal life in most parts of the state came to a grinding halt on Thursday during a 12-hour shutdown called by 13 organisations demanding introduction Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to regulate entry of outsiders into the state.

Government offices, educational and financial institutions remained closed, while vehicles were off the road during the bandh. The shutters were down in business establishments.

The attendance in Government offices was almost nil as very few employees attended their respective offices and the situation was even worse in the Secretariat.

“Attendance in the government offices was very poor. No untoward incident was reported during the bandh hours,” Principal Secretary in-charge Home K S Kropha said.

However, some tourists were seen visiting the museum at the State Central Library during the day.

The bandh passed off peacefully in Jaintia Hills. The State government offices remained open with low attendance. East Jaintia Hills recorded 40 per cent attendance while West Jaintia Hills recorded 35 per cent.

National Highway Nos.40 and 44, the lifelines for Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur and southern Assam, wore a deserted look during the shutdown.

Meanwhile, report from Garo Hills said that the bandh had its ripple effect in the five districts of Garo Hills which witnessed a shutdown but at the same time failed to halt a green campaign event that was participated by hundreds of youth from the region during the hours of closure.

While the day-long bandh closed down markets, business houses, schools and government offices in Tura and four other district headquarters of Garo Hills, yet, participation by sports enthusiasts and supporters of a green campaign was at its peak during the morning hours for the Chief Minister’s green campaign programme which included a 43 km cycle race from Tura to Ampati.

During the bandh traffic came to a standstill on the roads and people stayed indoors while security force personnel patrolled the streets. There were no untoward incidents reported from any part of the region till the time of filing this report. (With inputs from our Jowai, Tura correspondents)