Violence erupted in Kohima, the capital town of Nagaland when mob who opposing the ongoing election to urban local bodies set on fire the several govt offices including State Election Commission, Deputy Commissioner’s office, Kohima Municipal Council building, Regional Transport office etc.
The violent mobs demanding the resignation of Chief Minister T R Zeliang and his entire cabinet for going ahead with the urban local bodies 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 Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC), representing different tribal organisations, had served an ultimatum to Zeliang and his cabinet to resign by 4 pm, remove Dimapur Commissioner of Police and also declare the election process, already under way, null and void.
Anger was brewing in the state since the killing of two protesting youths in police firing at Dimapur on Tuesday. It grew further after the bodies were brought and kept in the heart of Kohima town last evening.
Under pressure from NTAC, Zeliang, declared the election process null and void and also transferred the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police of Dimapur to facilitate an impartial inquiry into the firing incident.
Though the Chief Minister’s decisions were announced before an angry crowd of protesters after the 4 pm deadline had expired, they turned violent.
The Zeliang government has been facing stiff opposition from tribal bodies over introducing 33 per cent reservation for women in the urban local bodies.
urban local bodies elections have been due in the state for over 16 years. In 2012, these bodies had pushed the state assembly to pass a resolution not to hold the ULB polls even though an amendment to the Municipality Act 2001 was passed in 2006 providing for quotas to them.
However, Zeliang government decided to hold the polls after the cabinet gave the go ahead for it following an interim Supreme Court order in a case filed by the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) for a directive to the state government to implement 33 per cent reservation for women in the urban local bodies like in many other states.