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Section 144 in Khasi hills

Shillong, June 9: Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were clamped on Shillong today in view of the 36-hour bandh called by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU).

The organisation is prote-sting against the public hearing on uranium mining at Nongbah-Jynrin in Mawth-abah village of West Khasi Hills district on Tuesday. The bandh will start at 5 am on Monday. The meeting has been called by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board.

The KSU claims that the public hearing is an “attempt to mislead the people,” on the issue of uranium mining.

The KSU-sponsored night road blockade will, however, end tomorrow morning.

Deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, B. Dhar, said the administration had clamped Section 144 CrPC in the district and security had been beefed up in Shillong. Special bus services had been arranged for office-goers, he added.

The police are on round-the-clock vigil to prevent any untoward incident. “No one will be spared if found guilty of violating law and order or obstructing people on their way to offices,” Dhar warned.

The state government has made it mandatory for all its employees to attend office. Its directive stated that salaries would be deducted and employees might have to face stern action if they stayed away from office on Monday and Tuesday. The government appealed to employees of banks and central government offices to attend work.

The West Khasi Hills district administration, too, has imposed Section 144 CrPC in the district.

The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and the Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP), the two coalition partners of the Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, have said that the government “has to take cognisance,” of the ruling of the Shillong bench of Gauhati High Court.

Following a public interest litigation filed by the Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Commission against the public hearing, the bench yesterday directed the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board to look into the objections raised by the petitioner.

The high court also questioned the notice issued by the board asking for prior permission of local headman of Nongbah Jynrin for participating in the meeting.

The rights body alleged that it had been denied permission.

A joint coordination committee of the KHNAM and the HSPDP today demanded an all-party meeting on uranium mining.

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