Meghalaya CM says Shillong stone-pelters were funded; Sikh leaders call for amicable solution

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on June 3 said that the police had found that some people were funding stone-pelters during the violent clashes in Shillong since May 31.

“We have found evidence of expensive alcohol being given to them, we have found evidence of money being given to them,” he said after reviewing the situation with state home minister James Sangma, director general of police Swaraj Bir Singh and other officials.

Curfew was relaxed for seven hours on June 3 in the violence-hit Meghalaya capital but internet services remained restricted.

A Sikh delegation led by Delhi legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa met the chief minister and expressed satisfaction that “Sikhs are safe” in Meghalaya. Interacting with the media, Sikh leaders denied reports that a gurdwara in Shillong was attacked or damaged.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju has also denied rumours of an attack on a gurdwara or any Sikh institution in violence-hit Shillong.

Rijiju, however, warned the people of Meghalaya not to believe the false propaganda being spread on social media and ensure that the state government was vigilant in solving issues.

Addressing the media in Shillong, chief minister Sangma said that “There are individuals who confessed they have been given money to take part in this agitation and they have come there because they have been given money. I must tell that we are on the job of finding out where the money is coming from, who are those individuals who are distributing money.”

The chief minister, however, denied commenting on involvement of any politician in the case. Asked if politicians were involved in funding, he said: “We do not want to take any name. I am not here to politicize this issue. This is a very sensitive issue and the individuals who are there will be aware of it and we are investigating into more details.”

The Sikh delegation said that certain problems are there since past two decades but an amicable solution needs to be found out. “There are problems but an amicable solution will be found on the issue which will be a win-win situation for both sides…. There were reports going around in the country that the situation is terrible. However, after what we witnessed at ground zero, I want to say that it is tense but under control,” Delhi legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa said.

Sikh community leader Gurjeet Singh denied media reports that a gurudwara was torched or desecrated. “Everything is peaceful in the locality and it is not a fact that the gurdwara has been attacked or our people living in hunger or on the streets,” news agency IANS quoted Singh as saying.

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