Shillong, Jan. 7 (PTI): Miscreants hurled petrol bombs at the state headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here in Meghalaya late on Sunday night, a police official said on Monday.
No one was injured in the attack but the windows of the office chamber of state BJP President Shibun Lyngdoh were damaged.
The petrol bomb attack comes amid the protests against the Modi government’s bid to get the controversial (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in Parliament.
The Bill aims to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for citizenship of India.
“We were informed that the incident occurred at around 11.20 p.m. and a fire engine doused the flames,” Superintendent of Police (Shillong City) Stephan Rynjah told IANS.
A team of forensic experts on Monday visited the BJP headquarters to collect samples and took possession of the CCTV footage capturing the incident.
BJP legislator and Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek, who visited the party office, demanded the immediate arrest of the perpetrators.
“We don’t know the reason behind this cowardly attack which is totally unacceptable,” Hek told IANS.
On the other hand, a group of activists under the banner of Confederation of HynAiewtrep Social Organisation staged a protest in front of the BJP’s office demanding that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill not be passed.
The activists shouted slogans like “Modi government down down” and asked Bangladeshis to go back to their country.
CoHSO Chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin said the Citizenship Amendment Bill was a threat not only to the indigenous tribals in the NorthEast but a national security threat as well.
“If Bangladeshis are more important than the NE people in the eyes of the NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he should become the Prime Minister of Bangladesh,” Kharjahrin said.
M’laya chief secy. warns officials against unauthorised absence during Tuesday bandh
Meghalaya Chief Secretary Y Tsering on Monday issued an order warning government officials of strict actions against unauthorised absence on Tuesday as North East students bodies declared bandh in all NE states against Citizenship Amendment Bill, officials said.
The NE bandh was called by North East Students’ Organisation (NESO, an umbrella organisation of students bodies in the region including Meghalaya in which the Khasi Students Union and the Garo Students Union are part of, in protest against the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha.
All measures required to ensure normalcy in the state should be taken. Strict action will be taken against all unauthorised absence, Tsering said in an order issued here on Monday.
Government offices shall function normally and government employees shall attend office as they would carry on with their duties and function, the order said.
The Chief Secretary has also sought a report of the attendance from heads of departments and district chiefs.
The bandh is enforced by the KSU in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region and by the GSU in the Garo Hills region.
Last night, unidentified assailants lobbed a molotov cocktail at the office of the BJP partially damaging it.
Security have been tightened in all identified vulnerable areas in the state capital and district SPs have been asked to keep government installations on tight vigil in the next 24 hours, a senior home official told PTI.
The Meghalaya High Court has banned publication of bandhs calls by the media and has also ordered that those who called for bandh should be held responsible for any damage caused to public and private properties.