Days after violence at a Shillong rally, the administration of the East Khasi Hills District – under which the Meghalaya capital falls, on Monday promulgated prohibitory orders in the city and adjoining areas, banning all kinds of gatherings and rallies, except religious processions.
Deputy Commissioner Isawanda Laloo, referring to the October 28 rally and subsequent violence in Shillong, said that it has been seen that the organisers do not comply with either one or many of the conditions imposed by this authority.
In her notification, she said that in one such rally held in Shillong on October 28, several incidents of assault of commuters and vandalism of vehicles took place, which have caused a fear psychosis amongst the public at large, while it is learnt that other NGOs and groups are also planning similar events such as ‘surprise rallies’ in Shillong city, it said.
In wake of this, the assembly, rally or procession of five or more people in the whole Shillong city, including the Shillong Urban Agglomeration area, is banned, and any violation of the order would attract penal provisions under Section 188 of the IPC, and any other as deemed fit and appropriate, the order said.
According to eyewitnesses, a section of Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) members, many of them masked, punched, kicked and pushed passersby indiscriminately, injuring a large number of people, mostly non-tribals, causing panic and huge traffic jams in the area.
The FKJGP organised the rally to highlight the rising unemployment problems in Meghalaya.