Shutdown for Garoland begins in Meghalaya

Shillong, Sep 10 (IANS) Normal life in the western part of Meghalaya's Garo Hills was crippled Tuesday with the start of a two-day shutdown called by the Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) demanding a separate Garoland state.

All government offices, commercial outlets, schools and colleges remained shut while vehicles mostly stayed off the roads in the five districts of Garo Hills.

"The situation is peaceful. There have been no reports of untoward incidents," Inspector General of Police (Western Range) H. Nongpluh told IANS.

The GHSMC - a conglomeration of several Garo organisations - has been agitating in the five district headquarters of Garo Hills demanding a Garoland state.

"We will continue with our fight. The Garo Hills region has been suffering due to under development for four decades," GSHMC general secretary Augustine Marak said.

"We have submitted several memoranda to the centre. However, we have not received any official response on the statehood demand," Marak said.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has ruled out division of Meghalaya.

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