SHILLONG, Sep 25: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Kongkal Sangma on Tuesday told the Meghalaya Assembly that the safety and security of the people of the state was paramount to the government than economic losses arising out of any law and order situation.
Conrad was responding to a supplementary query asked by Congress legislator from East Shillong, Ampareen Lyngdoh during the question hour, who sought to know the quantum of losses due to the ban on internet services earlier this year arising out of the clashes at Motphran area in the city.
“One has to realise law and order is a priority for us. Though there can be losses of businesses, loss in tourism but ultimately our aim is to protect the citizens,” the Chief Minister said.
He also said that due to false rumours (spread through social media) it (the incident ) had a snowballing impact and to quantify the losses (due to ban on internet services) would not be possible.
Justifying the ban on internet services, he said, “The ban was imposed to contain false rumours circulated through social media which have the potential threat to public safety and thus exacerbate the law and order situation.”
He also informed that the internet services was first suspended five times on June 4, 2018 for 48 hours, on June 6 for another 24 hours, on June 7 for 24 hours, on June 8 for 72 hours, on June 11 for 24 and again on June 12 for 24 hours.
In total internet services during that period was suspended for 216 hours which comes to nine days.
The Chief Minister also informed that there are many Acts today, which can punish those who spread rumours through social media.
He pointed out to one such provision of the law which states that an “administrator” of a “Whatsapp” group will be held responsible for any unpleasant comments made in it.