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Meghalaya Post-Poll Violence: Several Injured, One Found Dead

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SHILLONG, March 3 (PTI): Post-poll violence that erupted in at least three assembly constituencies in Meghalaya left several people injured, while one person was found dead in a mysterious circumstance, officials said on Friday.

Several incidents of violence were reported in Mariang constituency in Eastern West Khasi Hills, Shella in East Khasi Hills and Mokaiaw in West Jaintia Hills, where prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were clamped, they said.

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A number of vehicles parked in the compound of the deputy commissioner’s office in Mairang were set on fire, a senior district official told PTI.

“One person was also found dead in a mysterious circumstance at the place of violence,” he said.

The incident took place soon after Congress supporters had on Thursday gheraoed the DC’s office, expressing dissatisfaction over the Mairang assembly constituency results.

Meghalaya Assembly Speaker and UDP chief Metbah Lyngdoh defeated his nearest rival of the Congress, Batskhem Ryntathiang, by a slender margin in Mairang.

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Lyngdoh was declared re-elected from the assembly seat as he secured 19,066 votes, while the Congress nominee got 18,911 votes.

The district police fired tear gas shells to disperse the violent crowd last night, the official said.

In another incident in Sohra, supporters of the NPP hurled stones at the office of the SDO after they were disappointed with the Shella assembly constituency results.

“The situation is under control now and additional forces have been deployed,” district SP M G R Kumar said.

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United Democratic Party candidate Balajied Kupar Synrem won the Shella seat, defeating National People’s Party nominee Grace Mary Kharpuri by 434 votes.

In West Jaintia Hills, the district administration has imposed a curfew in Sahsniang village following a clash between two groups after the announcement of the assembly poll results on Thursday.

There is an “apprehension that the violence may spread and intensify if left unattended” and it may result in destruction of property and loss of lives, said an order issued by the local administration.

NPP chief and outgoing chief minister Conrad K Sangma appealed to all to maintain peace and requested leaders of all political parties not to incite their supporters in the wake of the post-poll violence in the hill state.

“I request everyone to refrain from indulging in any kind of violence,” Sangma told reporters here.

The situation in the violence-hit constituencies are “under control now”, he said, adding that no new incident has been reported in the state.

“I also request leaders of all political parties not to incite their supporters. A democratically elected government is going to be formed and peace should be there,” Sangma said.

The NPP emerged as the single-largest party in Meghalaya on Thursday, bagging 26 seats out of the 59 constituencies that went to polls on February 27.

The UDP, which was NPP’s ally in the Sangma government, emerged as the second-largest party, winning 11 constituencies. It had won only six seats in the 2018 polls.

The Congress and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC won five seats each, while the BJP secured two constituencies.

The newly formed Voice of the People Party (VPP) won four seats, while the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the People’s Democratic Front won two seats each.

Two Independent candidates also emerged victorious.

 

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