Shillong, February 29, 2020:

The Government of Meghalaya has imposed curfew in Shillong and adjoining areas and ordered temporary suspension of telecom services for the next 48 hours following clashes between members of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and non-tribals in Ichamati area of Meghalaya’s East Khasi hills district.

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The state government imposed curfew in Shillong and adjoining areas, and telecom services were snapped in six districts. One person has been killed in the clashes that began on Friday over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA row.

Meghalaya government observed that “law and order situation has arisen in East Khasi Hills District including incidents of vandalism and arson which have a potential to disturb public peace and tranquility and cause a threat to public safety…”

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It also observed that SMS, Whatsapp and social media platforms could be used as a means to circulate photos and other information that can later cause serious breakdown of Law & Order.

Following this, the authorities have ordered suspension of telecom services temporarily. “…under the provision of Section 5 (ii) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 185, read with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 to prohibit the following types of media for the next 48 hours beginning from 10.00 pm on 28th February 2020 in the 6 districts of Meghalaya namely, East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills Districts.”

The SMS of all the mobile service providers will be limited to five SMSs per day and mobile internet/data services of all mobile service providers.

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“Violation of this promulgation will be punishable under section 188 IPC and also under the relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885,” read the notification.

It may be mentioned here that the incident occurred following KSU’s to discuss the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Inner Line Permit.

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