Violence in Nagaland: Protesters attack government offices in Kohima

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nagaland-burningKOHIMA: Violence erupted in the Nagaland capital on Thursday with those opposed to the ongoing elections to urban local bodies (ULB) vandalising the state election commission and deputy commissioner’s office and setting on fire the Kohima Municipal Council building.

The Regional Transport Office and that of the Excise Department were also set ablaze by violent mobs demanding the resignation of Chief Minister TR Zeliang and his entire cabinet for going ahead with the ULB polls despite opposition from powerful tribal groups that are against 33% reservation for women in the municipal bodies, eyewitness said.

All of these incidents, however, could not be immediately confirmed by the police.

Urban local body polls (ULB) in Nagaland has snowballed into a political slug-fest with protesters refusing to bury the body two persons killed in the Tuesday’s violence till the chief minister, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang and his other minister resigns.

The government has also shut down the mobile internet service and urban polls slated for February 1 is called off. Tribal bodies are opposing the state government decision of granting 33% reservation for women in the ULB. Tension continued to prevail for the third day after the bodies of two persons, killed in police firing in Dimapur on Tuesday, arrived last evening, a police officer said.

With the mob demanding that the bodies be paraded before the residences of Chief Minister TR Zeliang and ruling NPF Party President Dr Shurhozelie, the NTAC constituted a committee to take up the matter with the government, an NTAC spokesman said.

The committee was formed at an extraordinary emergency meeting held at Angami Public Organisation (APO) office, the NTAC spokesman said.

The Committee comprises seven tribal organisations — Zeliang, Chakhesang, Ao, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Lotha and Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation (ENPO) Kohima, representing six tribes from its region.

NTAC Kohima, in a memorandum submitted to the Governor P B Acharya in absentia at the Raj Bhavan, today alleged that the situation had turned volatile as the Chief Minister and his Cabinet had decided to go against the democratic voice of the people to postpone the scheduled election to Urban Local Bodies.

The two youths identified as Khriesavizo Avizo Metha and Bendangnungsang have been declared “Naga martyrs”, who gave their lives for protecting the rights of the Nagas. Their funeral was scheduled for this morning, the spokesman said.

The NTAC has also demanded the immediate suspension of the police officers and personnel involved in the “indiscriminate firing” leading to the death of the two youths.

Further, it has also been decided that the bodies will not be buried until the demands are met forthwith, NTAC Kohima informed the Governor through the memorandum, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the bandh is also continuing in Dimapur and Mokokchung district in solidarity with the stand of tribal organisations in Kohima.

(With inputs from PTI)

Source: Times of India

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