Shillong hawkers, taxi drivers oppose curfew, odd-even rule imposed after attack on police station
Hawkers and taxi drivers in Shillong on Thursday (July 13) protested against the Meghalaya government’s order to shut all shops by 10 pm every night to maintain law and order and introduce odd-even rule for commercial vehicles in the Khyndailad-Motphran area of the city to streamline traffic.
The order was imposed by the East Khasi Hills district administration after a mob last week attacked a police station in Laitumkhrah area and torched four vehicles following a drunken brawl between two groups of people.
Hawkers, mostly running makeshift food stalls, refused to comply with the order, and raised slogans when enforcement agencies went to Khyndailad area to execute the administrative orders on Wednesday (July 12) night.
On Thursday morning, taxi drivers parked their vehicles at the Civil Hospital Junction causing massive traffic snarls and refused to accept Additional District Magistrate R Wahlang’s request to vacate the area and come for talks.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who is also the home minister, convened a high-level meeting to sort out the twin issues that could create unrest in the state capital, a senior government official told PTI.
East Khasi Hills District Magistrate R M Kurbah had on June 1 issued the odd-even order for buses and taxis entering Khyndailad-Motphran area in pursuance with a high court order to adopt measures to ease traffic congestion on the roads in the state capital.
While hearing a PIL, the Meghalaya High Court had in December last year directed the district administration to take measures to ease traffic congestion, particularly in and around the business centre and the entry and exit points to the city.
(With inputs from agencies)