2 killed in clashes over Naga civic polls

Tribal organisations demand Zeliang govt’s resignation

Kohima: Two persons were killed while several others suffered injured in clashes between the police and a mob as groups of people rampaged government properties since Tuesday night in Dimapur and Longleng districts, even as polling to some Urban Local Bodies in Nagaland were held on Wednesday.
In view of the prevailing situation, all mobile data services have been blocked in the state since midnight, while some tribal bodies which were opposed to the holding of the elections called for a bandh in the districts.
In Dimapur, two youths died and at least three were injured as a crowd gathered near the private residence of Chief Minister T R Zeliang at 3rd Mile and a police force tried to stop them around 9.30 PM, a state official said.
There were reports of the deaths caused by police firing but not confirmed by the official who did not want to be named. In Longleng, the interior district of the state, seven people were injured after police resorted to firing in order to prevent a mob from entering the office of the DC Longleng, the official said.
The mob also damaged polling materials of all the 11 polling stations as tension continued to prevail in both the district even as the administration has imposed 144 CrPC.
Cops also fired in air in Dimapur, where people had gathered protesting the government’s decision, the official said. In view of the prevailing situation, all mobile data services have been blocked in the state since Tuesday midnight and will continue till the situation was brought under control, official sources said.
Meanwhile, different tribal organisations were observing bandh in some districts of Nagaland to boycott the elections by not allowing the voters to exercise their franchise during today’s polling in for the 12 councils.
The bandh has been called so that people cannot participate in the polling to be held from 7 AM to 3:30 PM. In Kohima, Angami Youth Organisation (AYO) Neinguvotuo Krose said they are calling a bandh from 8 AM to 3 PM as the government wanted to fool the people with its “divide and rule” policy.
He said restrictions would be imposed on functioning of government offices and movement of people’s representatives like MLAs and other politicians. All private activities, hospitals, business, educational institutions and pedestrians are exempted from the purview of the bandh, Krose said.
In Phek district, Chakhesang Youth Front called the bandh in Chakhesang region for 12 hours from 6 AM, while various organisations have called for a 6 AM to 6 PM shutdown in Tuensang.
Chakhroma public organisation said it has called the bandh from 6 AM to 5 PM in the area from Piphema to Assam- Nagaland border on the National Highway and all adjoining routes.
These organisations have been opposing the state government’s decision to hold the ULB elections with 33 per cent women reservation, stating that it “infringes” on the special rights for Nagaland guaranteed by Article 371(A) of the Constitution.
Meanwhile,tribal organisations in Nagaland on Wednesday demanded the resignation of the TR Zeliang-led government in the aftermath of the killing of two persons and injuries to several others in clashes between the police and a mob.
The demand was made by the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), comprising Naga tribal organisations, during the send-off service of the two deceased at the Agri-Expo junction in Dimapur on Wednesday.
After the send-off service, the bodies of the two deceased were rallied through NH 29. The burial service will be held in the state capital here on Thursday.
JCC representative Vekhosayi, while condoling the demise of the two persons during Tuesday’s night public movement against the government’s decision to hold polls on Wednesday to 12 councils, said “their sacrifice should not go in vain”.
The JCC also demanded the suspension of the police personnel “involved in the indiscriminate firing”, along with the Dimapur Police Commissioner. It also urged the govt to nullify the polling held to the 12 town councils spread over the state on Wednesday. (PTI)

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