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Another day, another internet outage in India – Mobile internet is now suspended in districts throughout Meghalaya State

Following the recent assassination of surrendered HNLC terrorist Cherishterfield Thangkhiew in a police operation, the law and order scenario in the northeastern state of Meghalaya has deteriorated.

On the 15th of August, a curfew was enforced in Shillong, and mobile internet was suspended in at least four districts of Meghalaya because of arson and vandalism in response to a police encounter with a critical militant leader who had surrendered, officials said.

According to them, a curfew was enforced in Shillong from 8 p.m. on Sunday until 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

Mobile internet was turned down for 48 hours, commencing at 6 p.m., in the districts of Ri-Bhoi, South West Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, and East Khasi Hills, they claimed.

Several acts of arson and vandalism have been recorded, with the potential to disrupt public peace and serenity and pose a concern to public safety, according to Home Secretary CVD Diengdoh, citing police headquarters reports.

The conflict was reported in these regions, according to Chesterfield. Thangkhiew, a surrendered insurgent, was put to rest at a Shillong cemetery after being shot by police in an encounter at his residence on the 13th of August. According to authorities, since his surrender in 2018, Thangkhiew has been accused of being the mastermind of a slew of IED assaults.

When R Chandranathan dispatched his squad to capture Thangkhiew, the “former” general-secretary of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, he stated enough evidence against him (HNLC).

Thangkhiew allegedly assaulted police with a knife during a raid on his residence, prompting retaliatory gunfire in which he was killed, according to Chandranathan.

As his remains were brought to the graveyard, hundreds of his followers waved black flags.

Police stated that his followers vandalized government cars and set a police vehicle on fire in Shillong’s Jaiaw district.

“Messaging systems including WhatsApp, SMS, and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube are prone to be used for transmission of pictures, videos, and messages. They also have the potential to create a significant breakdown of law and order,” the chief secretary stated, banning mobile internet.

The curfew was implemented in Shillong by Isawanda Laloo’s decree, the East Khasi Hills district administrator.

The Meghalaya Human Rights Commission has also considered suo moto cognizance of the incident, perceiving that “the instant situation seems to have resulted in crude human rights violation, which per Article 21 of the Constitution mandates protection of life and personal liberty for every individual within the territory of India.”

The commission has ordered the chief secretary to produce a full report on the situation in 15 days, failing which the panel would launch its probe.

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