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Minorities commission to probe Meghalaya violence

The National Commission for Minorities will send a member to the Meghalaya capital Shillong to investigate the clashes between residents of the city’s Punjabi Line area and Khasi drivers of state-run buses, the panel’s chief said.

The panel has decided to send its member Manjit Singh Rai from Punjab to Shillong to assess the situation, said NCM chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi.

“We are sending our member Manjit Singh Rai from Punjab for a probe and he will file a report based on which the future course of action will be decided. He will go on Tuesday and return on Wednesday. He will meet all those affected,” Hasan said.

The Centre has approved the deployment of six additional companies of paramilitary forces in Shillong, where fresh violence broke out last night, prompting police to use teargas shells to quell a mob, a police officer said. Each company has a strength of 100 troopers.

Normal life continued to remain affected for the fourth day in a row on Monday with curfew imposed in parts of the city.

Clashes broke out last Thursday in Punjabi Line area when a bus handyman was allegedly beaten up by a group of residents.

More than 10 people, including policemen, were injured in the violence. One person has been arrested in connection with the assault.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had said on Sunday that the violence was a local issue and some people with vested interests had been trying to give a communal colour to it.

Concerned about reports of security threats in the Punjabi Line area, the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab had said on Sunday that it would send a four-member team, headed by Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, to the Meghalaya capital, to assess the situation.

A team of Shiromani Akali Dal leaders from Delhi has visited the Meghalaya capital in view of the clashes.

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