Kohima, February 3: Violence prevailed in Nagaland on Thursday over the government’s decision that elections to urban local bodies would be held on February 1. Kohima calmed down late on Thursday night after the Army was called in. Five columns were deployed across the city to take the control over the mess caused by the protestors.
Protestors went on rampage burned and vandalized government properties against Chief Minister TR Zeliang’s refusal to postpone the municipal elections, in which seats were reserved for women.
Senior officer of Assam Rifles said that “tribal groups have been opposing the polls because of their antipathy to the reservation of women in local administration. The state government has made a provision whereby 33% reservation will be granted to women in local bodies. The tribal groups believe that this kind of provision upsets the balance of responsibilities between men and women.”
On Thursday evening the mob set the office of Kohima Municipal Council and government vehicles on fire. Also they burned down the rented house of Chief Minister in Dimapur. Tribal organisations in Nagaland were demanding the resignation of the TR Zeliang-led government after two people were killed and two others were injured in the state’s commercial hub of Dimpaur when police fired on a mob comprising hundreds of armed youths trying to enter the private residence of the chief minister on Tuesday night.
Chief Minister urged people that “senseless vandalism and arson destroying public properties and spreading fear and panic in the minds of peace-loving citizens”.
Nagaland police Chief L.L. Doungel said to media that “The mob was armed with machetes and marched to the private residence of chief minister T.R. Zeliang in Dimapur. The police resorted to firing to disperse the agitating crowd after the protesters attempted to storm the CM’s residence. The district administration had imposed curfew in Dimapur district.”
Naga People's Front legislator Neiphrezo Keditsu on Thursday submitted his resignation as Chairman of Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation (NSMDC) Limited on moral ground since one of the person killed at Dimapur police firing happens to be from his own village.
"The situation is under control, the important locations have been taken care of," said a senior officer of the Assam Rifles. Security has been stepped up across all the districts of Nagaland. The state government has shut down internet and mobile data service to stop the spread of rumors through social networking sites, a government official said.