Politics

Normalcy Returns in Violence-Hit Kohima

Naga tribals set ablaze the Kohima Municipal Council office and the office of the district collector during their violent protest, in Kohima on Friday. PTI Photo (PTI2_3_2017_000276B)

Naga tribals set ablaze the Kohima Municipal Council office and the office of the district collector during their violent protest in Kohima on Friday. Credit: PTI

Kohima: Normalcy today returned to the Nagaland capital with educational institutions, banks, business establishments and shops opening two days after violent mobs went on a rampage here vandalising and setting afire government offices and vehicles.

With business activities kicking off after five days of bandh, long queues were seen at petrol pumps and shops and markets.

Prohibitory orders are still in force in some areas of the capital with state government offices remaining closed today and government vehicles also staying off roads. Mobile data and SMS services are also not working.

The Joint Coordination Committee supported by various tribal organisations had called the bandh on February 1 in different parts of the state opposing Nagaland government’s decision to conduct elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) with 33% reservation for women.

During a public protest at Dimapur on the night of January 31, two Naga youths were killed in police firing. The bodies of the youths were brought to Kohima from Dimapur and kept in the heart of the town.

The protesting tribal organisations put forth a charter of demands, including stepping down of chief minister T. R. Zeliang and his cabinet on moral grounds, declaring the entire process of ULBs elections null and void and suspension of the police officers and jawans involved in Dimapur firing.

Violent mobs went on rampage in Kohima on February 2, vandalising and setting afire government offices and vehicles demanding the resignation of the chief minister and his entire cabinet for going ahead with the ULB polls despite opposition from powerful tribal groups.

The bodies of the youths killed in police firing were buried yesterday and the funeral service, conducted by Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship, was attended by thousands of people.

The Nagaland Tribes Action Committee Kohima yesterday declared that the bandh would be lifted for the general public but the restrictions on the functioning of state government offices and vehicles will continue till the government under Zeliang’s leadership steps down.

42 MLAs of Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government conveyed their support to the leadership of Zeliang following an emergency meeting held late last night.