Situation in Shillong starting to get normal

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Following the recent cases of violence in Shillong, the situation is gradually easing out and tourist flow has started to increase in the city. Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad has urged the people to maintain peace and not to malign the image of the state.

In a statement, he said events of the past week have caused a lot of concern to peace loving citizens, and urged them to support the government in maintaining peace.

Prasad said, “Disruption of normal life due to violence dents the image of a peaceful state like ours and will have a negative impact on the state’s economy, especially during the peak tourist season” and also urged people to stay away from rumours as “fake news” could be deliberately circulated by immoral people.

Deputy Commissioner PS Dkhar said most shops have opened in Police Bazaar and Iew Duh (Bara Bazaar) with people starting to visit them.

According to sources, Assam Tourists Taxi Association has started ferrying tourists from Guwahati to Shillong.

Minority commission member Manjit Rai has met senior police and civil officials where he was briefed on the situation. Rai, who visited a gurudwara in Punjabi Lane, said the report will be tabled before the Commission on Thursday.

A high-level committee formed by Meghalaya government to find a permanent solution to issue of relocation of the Sweeper Colony inhabited by Punjabis, has asked the departments concerned to submit relevant documents within this week.

Speaking to reporters after the panel’s first sitting on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who heads the committee, said: “We have directed the Shillong Municipal Board, urban affairs department and law department to submit all documents and court cases relating to the land within this week for the committee to study in detail on the matter”.

“After this, the committee will accordingly recommend a feasible and permanent solution to the state government for relocation of the Sweepers Colony, which has been a long pending issue,” he added.

Stating that the terms of reference of the committee is to examine relevant documents relating to the relocation of the Sweepers Colony, he, however, said they need to know the factuality about land and occupants to decide on the issue.

The committee chairman said the decision to constitute the panel does not mean that the government wants to buy time but to show that it wants to find ways to solve this issue.

“We are committed to reach a solution,” he said.

The deputy chief minister said he does not see any problem in relocating the colony. Relocating them does not mean deprivation but it is for the good of everybody “because we dont know the sentiment of the mob”, he said.

Tynsong said the committee is waiting for the details about the number of employees working under Shillong Municipal Board. According to him, it would be too early to say whether there are illegal settlers in the area.

On opposition Congress’s demand for a judicial inquiry, he said it would be meaningless to institute the inquiry since the main cause behind the violence is known to the government.

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