Shillong, May 7: The one-day office picketing called by agitating social organisations in Meghalaya’s Khasi-Jaintia hills passed off peacefully with most government establishments here wearing a deserted look.
The picketing was called by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi-Jaintia & Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF). The picketing was meant to intensify their pressure for the immediate suspension of the registration of voters in the state as they had expressed fears that even non-Indians have been enrolled in the electoral rolls.
In the state capital, around 20 per cent of the government employees, mostly senior officials, attended office. The government claimed that the percentage of office-goers in the other districts was much higher.
A senior government official said in Jaintia Hills, the attendance was around 75 per cent while in West Khasi Hills it was 70 per cent. In Ri Bhoi, the percentage was around 60 per cent, he added.
Although no untoward incident was reported from any part of the four districts during picketing, security was beefed up in government establishments.
Police said two companies of BSF personnel were roped in to man “sensitive” government buildings in the city.
In the morning, four youths, identified as Bronson Nongrum, Teiborlang Nongbri, Andy Loredson Kharmawlong and Johnson Nongdhar, were arrested from Fourth Furlong area near the Neepco office for allegedly preventing office-goers from attending to their work.
The four have been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days, police said.
In Ri-Bhoi, one company of paramilitary forces was deployed around sensitive areas.
Last night, goons hurled a petrol bomb at the soil conservation office at Lawmali Polo Hills in the city. However, no major damage was reported.
Representatives of various political parties will be meeting tomorrow at 4pm at the state secretariat to find a solution to the issues raised by the agitating groups.