Normal life was partially affected in the entire five Garo Hills districts in view of the indefinite shutdown called by the pro-statehood activists.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday dismissed the demand put forth by statehood activists to bifurcate this small north eastern state into two separate Khasi and Garo states, even as five districts in Garo Hills were partially affected by the shutdown called by the agitators.

“I do not foresee further division of Meghalaya. There is only a bunch of people who are asking for this (statehood),” Mr. Sangma told reporters at the sideline of a conference on chemical disaster management here.

The Chief Minister said that democratically demonstrating or prevailing upon government on issues, whether for statehood or for anything in the spirit of democracy, is okay but it does not give them the right to damage public property.

On Wednesday, a group of statehood activists stormed the office of the deputy commissioner in Tura and 13 persons have been arrested including the general secretary of the Garo Hills State Movement Committee Augustine R Marak in this connection.

Normal life was partially affected in the entire five Garo Hills districts in view of the indefinite shutdown called by the pro-statehood activists.

Educational institutions and banks remained closed and there were few vehicles on the roads before noon.

Shops in Tura have begun to open and people are seen on the streets again defying the diktats of the GHSMC activists, West Garo Hills district deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi told PTI.

In the Khasi Jaintia Hills region, stray incidents of arson and attacks on government offices and vehicles were reported in East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts during the night road blockade hours.

Pro-Inner Line Permit (ILP) activists hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at moving vehicles along the NH-40 and 44 and three activists were arrested, East Khasi Hills SP M Kharkrang said.

The four-day night road blockade, which began on Tuesday, was imposed in the seven districts in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region by pro-ILP activists demanding immediate introduction of the ILP.