Several injured in police-protestors clash in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district

Several people including police personnel were injured in a clash that occurred between members of several NGOs and the police during an Environmental Public Hearing

KHLIEHRIAT: (updated)

Several people including police personnel were injured in a clash that occurred between members of several NGOs and the police during an Environmental Public Hearing at the campus of the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Khliehriat, East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district of Meghalaya on Saturday.

The public hearing, which was chaired by the EJH DC, E Kharmalki, was organised by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) on Saturday to discuss the proposed limestone and Shale Mining Project of the M/s Star Cement Meghalaya at an area of 42.051 hectares under Brishyrnot village in EJH.

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The public hearing, which was chaired by the EJH DC, E Kharmalki, was organised by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) on Saturday to discuss the proposed limestone and Shale Mining Project of the M/s Star Cement Meghalaya at an area of 42.051 hectares under Brishyrnot village in EJH.

The public hearing turned ugly after members of different NGOs which included the Jaintia Students' Union (JSU), Khasi Students' Union (KSU), Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Hynniewtrep A'chik National Movement (HANM), East Jaintia National Council (EJNC), Saiñdur, Tipkur Tipkha, Ieng, Ehrngiew, Khun Hynñiewtrep (STIEH) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) "forcefully" entered the campus to stage a protest.

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It was informed that only a few selected members of different NGOs were allowed to take part in the public hearing as per the seating capacity of 100 people.

"The incident started when a large number of NGOs' members forcefully tried to enter the campus to stage a protest," a police source informed.

The situation turned violent after protestors started pelting stones at law enforcers, "compelling" the police to spray tear gases at the crowd, to stop them from entering the campus.

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"Seven personnel including two women personnel and the DSP sustained injuries," the police source said.

It was also informed that a few members of the NGOs also sustained minor injuries.

Despite the intervention of the Superintendent of Police and Deputy SP, the protestors managed to "break the police barricade, stormed the stage and started damaging the properties.""

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills, E Kharmalki has stated that action will be initiated accordingly only after a detailed report on the incident is submitted.

(edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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