The first-ever municipal elections in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills was adjourned today after law and order collapsed due to anti-poll protests.
“The law and order situation is not conducive for elections and so it has been adjourned,” Chief Electoral Officer Prashant Naik said.
Miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the residence of East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi last night, but fortunately it did not explode, police said.
Mob build-up was reported at several places across the three districts of East, West and South Garo Hills since late last evening.
Over a dozen polling booths were gheraoed by anti-poll activists and the polling personnel dragged out and threatened.
A candidate’s vehicle was set on fire by miscreants at Resubelpara in East Garo Hills, while boulders and felled tress were stacked up at roads to prevent movement.
Despite heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces, arson cases were also reported at some government offices, besides incidents of stone pelting.
The Joint Action Committee, a conglomerate of several organisations, had called for a three-day bandh from Wednesday in the three districts of Garo Hills objecting to the municipal elections scheduled for October 29.
They claim that it “would be violating the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and lead to erosion of powers of the traditional bodies like the Council of Nokma (Village Council)”.