All government offices, commercial outlets, schools and colleges remained shut while most of the vehicles 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 said.

The GHSMC - a conglomeration of several Garo organizations - has been agitating in the five district headquarters of Garo Hills demanding a separate 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. It should be mentioned here that Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has already ruled out division of Meghalaya.

(Agencies)

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