- NET Web Desk
The protests and violence against the killing of ex-HNLC leader Chesterfield Thangkhiew have taken the whole of Shillong and its surrounding areas under its grip.
The police and administration unable to control it have ordered the suspension of internet services in the four districts of East, West, and South West Khasi hills along with Ri-Bhoi.
The Meghalaya Police took the step as “incidents of vandalism and arson which have a potential to disturb public peace and tranquility,” were reported from many places.
Fearing “messaging system like SMS and Whatsapp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be used for transmission of information through pictures, videos and text and have the potential to cause serious breakdown of Law & Order,” Secretary Home of Meghalaya C.V.D. Diengdoh decided to suspend internet services.
The internet services will be suspended from 06:00 pm on 15th August 2021 for the next 48 hours under “Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, read with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 to prohibit the following types of media” namely mobile internet and data services to all phones.
Earlier Groups of young men carrying black flags were seen moving in their vehicles around the city on 15 August. Cases of stone-pelting and sporadic incidents of arson have occurred too.
Incidentally, today was also the day when Chesterfield Thangkhiew was buried. The family members have alleged that contrary to the version of police Thangkhiew was not killed in retaliatory fire but was allegedly killed in a pre-planned operation.
His death enraged many ex-members, sympathizers, and citizens as Chesterfield had surrendered two years back and talks were ongoing between HNLC and the Meghalaya Govt.
A candlelight march was taken out on the night of 13 to protest against his alleged encounter. As time passed many youths came out to protest against the action of the Meghalaya Police.
On August 15 as the nation and the state celebrated Independence Day young men started driving around the city carrying black flags. Some miscreants vandalised vehicles and setting them on fire. The fire brigade had to rush to the spot to douse it.
By shutting down the internet services the administration is hoping to stop the spread of the violence before it gets out of control.