Residents of Ampati in South West Garo Hills district today went on a rampage destroying shops while also setting the offices of NGOs on fire after trade between residents of the district and that of Mankachar in Assam was stopped by some NGOs.
As per sources, the trouble began on Wednesday when traders from Assam came to Ampati to trade in various goods. However, members of the Garo Students Union (GSU) of the area chased them out of the place over violation of Covid-19 protocols as well as the fact that markets in Meghalaya were disallowed.
While the district administration has been doing its utmost in ensuring protocols are followed, the same has been extremely difficult to implement. While residents did not mind the fact that the Bazaar was forcefully shut down on December 16, they were extremely agitated when the union allegedly stopped traders from Assam, who would buy goods from them, were stopped near Mir Jumla.
When they saw no traders coming from Assam to buy goods, as well as the fact this would have been the last market day prior to Christmas, the residents went on a rampage and began the destruction of shops that had been set up before setting fire to the offices of various NGOs, including that of the GSU.
“The residents were angry at the harassment by the NGOs and wanted to vent their anger at the situation leading to various shops being attacked. Some NGO offices were also attacked, including the office of the Market Secretary,” Superintendent of Police, Rithuraj Ravi.
As per sources, when even after opening their shops for business no one from Assam came, residents called the traders who informed them about the harassment faced by the traders from Assam at the hands of various NGOs, especially with today being the last Bazaar day prior to Christmas.
The angry residents of the area then went on a rampage over the incident, destroying various shops, with goods that had opened before setting on fire some of the places.
“The situation is currently under control and things have improved on the basis that the market for trade would be allowed on Monday. Covid protocols need to be ensured during the entire exercise,” said a source from the district administration.
While the situation, as per sources has gotten better, it has not improved completely.