Shillong: Tensions have once again begun to simmer in the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya after the indigenous Khasi Students' Union (KSU) staged massive protests against the visit of All Bengali Youth and Students’ Organisation (ABYSO) and cited that it is an attempt to "interfere with the state’s internal affairs."
Tensions came to a head on Wednesday when protests rocked the state over the visit of the Bengali organization. The protests by the members of the KSU North Khasi Hills District and KSU South Khasi Hills District on Wednesday were held at Toll Plaza, Pahammawlein in Ri Bhoi district, and Sohra in East Khasi Hills district.
"This has been going on since February this year. Complaints have been registered and there have been allegations of harassment of women and children, but police investigated and said much there was much ado over nothing. There is still much confusion as both the warring sides have presented conflicting account of events," senior journalist Patricia Mukhim told Inside Northeast.
"Provocative" posters were put up at several locations. Many of these posters denounced the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that seeks to fast-track citizenship to non-Muslims from the neighboring nations of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The police immediately sprung into action and removed the banners.
"It is hereby informed that banners that were displayed today in public places, have been removed. We request all concerned to kindly co-operate with us in promoting peace and harmony in the State," read a tweet sent out from the official profile of the Meghalaya police.
Meanwhile, the state government has begun reaching out to members of the community and allay the fears of a "Bengali takeover" of the Northeast Indian state.
Amid the growing trust deficit between the tribals and non-tribals in the state, the government has been compelled to beef up security ahead of the Durga Puja celebrations.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the Government is inviting dialogue with the warring factions to find an amicable solution to the simmering issue. He has also expressed hope that "normalcy wil be restored" once the government carries out talks with the warring factions.
The after-effects of the Ichimati incident:
The ABYSO, led by Chandan Chatterjee, had sought permission and security to visit Ichamati in East Khasi Hills district to take stock of the alleged “institutionalised harassment” of non-tribal women and children.
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