Nagaland tense as prohibitory orders continue post violence

RSTV Bureau
Dimapur: Protesters burn tyres on the road during a bandh called by Joint Coordination Committee against 33 per cent women reservation for the forthcoming Municipal and Urban Local Body election in Dimapur on Saturday.PTI Photo

Dimapur: Protesters burn tyres on the road during a bandh called by Joint Coordination Committee against 33 per cent women reservation for the forthcoming Municipal and Urban Local Body election in Dimapur on January 28, 2017.PTI Photo

Prohibitory orders continue in Nagaland’s capital Kohima a day after several parts of the state saw violent protests.

District administration enforced section 144 of CrPC in several areas including Raj Bhavan, the chief minister’s official residence and the civil secretariat.

A mob had gone on a rampage on Thursday to vent their anger against the killing of two protesting youths in police action on Tuesday. The tribal protesters are opposing the ongoing elections to urban local bodies where 33 per cent of the seats are reserved for women.

The protesters, primarily the NTAC (Nagaland Tribes Action Committee), a grouping of different tribal organisation, continued with its demand for Chief Minister T R Zeliang’s resignation along with his cabinet. The CM is accused of going ahead with ULB polls despite opposition from powerful tribal groups that are against 33 per cent reservation for women in the municipal bodies.

Earlier in the day the people from all walks of life participated in a peaceful prayer service in the heart of the state capital for the two protesting youths who were killed in police firing in Dimapur.

The prayer service was conducted by the Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship at the spot where the bodies were kept since Wednesday evening.

The NTAC has now decided to bury the bodies.

Neiphiu Rio, the lone Lok Sabha MP from the state and former chief minister, attended the prayer service and laid wreaths on the bodies.

“No elected goverenment should go against the wishes and voice of the people,” he told PTI, describing the entire episode as “tragic”.

He blamed the state government for “misusing” their power against the wishes of the people.

Replying to a query whether President’s Rule can be imposed in the state, he said, “It depends on the central government.”

Nagaland Governor P B Acahrya, who also holds the dual charge of Arunachal Pradesh, arrived in the state from Itanagar.

While a total bandh was observed in Mokukchung, and Dimapur district, movement of vehicles is being allowed in Kohima so that people can attend the prayer service.

But mobile data service and SMS were still not functional.

NTAC had served an ultimatum to the CM to resign by 4 PM on Thursday. The protestors went on a rampage after the deadline expired, even though Zeliang declared the election process to urban local bodies null and void.

The Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police of Dimapur were transferred to facilitate an impartial inquiry into the firing incident.

Activists of several tribal groups had yesterday vandalised the State Election Commission and Deputy Commissioner’s office and set ablaze the Kohima Municipal Council building.

The Regional Transport office and that of the Excise Department were also set ablaze by the mob.

(With inputs from PTI)