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48-hour bandh hits life partially in Meghalaya

Shillong, Aug. 14: Normal life has been partially crippled in the six districts of Khasi-Jaintia hills region of Meghalaya because of a 48-hour bandh called by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

The bandh from Wednesday 6pm to Friday 6pm was enforced by the Khasi separatist group to protest against the ban on rat-hole mining in the state by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as well as to boycott the Independence Day celebrations in the Khasi-Jaintia region.

Business establishments, including shops, banks and educational institutions, remaining closed today and few vehicles plied.

In the state capital, government-run buses and taxis, including a few private taxis, plied during the bandh hours.

Though government offices were open, today’s attendance was poor.

Office attendance in coal-rich districts of West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills, and South West Khasi Hills districts was low with just 15 per cent, 30 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

However, the attendance was high in East Khasi Hills district which houses various heads of government departments. It recorded nearly 93 per cent attendance.

The office attendance in Ri-Bhoi district was 42 per cent.

Security has been beefed up across the state to “thwart any possible threats” as Meghalaya prepares to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow. Strict vigil is being maintained with adequate deployment of security forces to foil any attempt by separatist outfits to create a violent situation.

For the past week security personnel have been alerted and intensified checking on vehicles especially private vehicles at night to thwart movement of antisocial elements and carry of explosives.

The BSF units deployed along the India-Bangladesh border have also intensified night patrols to prevent trans-border movement of militants.