Army Jawans Attacked In Curfew Bound Shillong, Situation Grim
Army Jawans Attacked In Curfew Bound Shillong, Situation GrimUnrest in Shillong. (PTI)

The situation in Shillong continues to be grim with fresh violence reported from the capital city of Meghalaya on Sunday night. For the first time, aggressive Khasi tribal men attacked (according to this news report) army jawans, along with anti-riot policemen, and injured some of them. Never before has the army been attacked in Shillong and the unprecedented attack stands proof of the growing belligerence of the Khasi youth involved in the protests against the presence of 250-odd Sikh families at Punjabi Lane, an area they have been residing in for the past 160 years.

The attack on army and police, who were protecting the besieged Sikh families, took place after curfew was reimposed in that part of the city after a seven-hour relaxation to enable people to attend church services. The trouble in Shillong started on Thursday after a minor altercation between some Khasi youth and Sikh residents of the Punjabi Lane. It soon erupted into a Khasi-Punjabi clash with not only the Sikhs of Punjabi Lane, but also Sikhs in other parts of the capital being attacked and abused. On Saturday night, a two-wheeler showroom belonging to a Sikh was attacked with petrol-bombs. Various Khasi students’ and youth bodies and Non-Government Organisations are demanding that the residents of the lane be shifted immediately to the outskirts of the city. They hold that the Sikhs are illegal squatters.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Sunday that the unrest was being “funded” by “certain people”. He said a magisterial probe is underway to investigate this and promised stern action against the protestors and their sponsors. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has deputed a four-member team led by his cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa and comprising MPs Gurjit Aujla and Ravneet Bittu and MLA Kuldip Singh Vaid to Shillong. The team will reach Shillong on Monday evening. Meanwhile, Punjabis, especially Sikhs, in Shillong are feeling unsafe despite the state government’s assurances as they are receiving threats from some Khasis.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber