Nagaland burns as tribal bodies protest 33% women's quota in civic polls
The protestors were demanding the resignation of Nagaland CM Zeliang and his cabinet following the government's decision to hold local body elections in 12 towns across the state.
Venting their anger against the against ongoing elections of urban local bodies with 33% quota for women, an irate mob on Thursday went on rampage, burning down several government properties and vandalised government vehicles.
Over a thousand people armed with spears and machetes took to the street and set ablze the old secretariat building which housed the offices of Kohima Municipal Council, Regional Transport Office and Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority and damaged government vehicles.
The protestors were demanding the resignation of Nagaland CM Zeliang and his cabinet following the government's decision to hold local body elections in 12 towns across the state and the death of two persons following clashes between the police and the public at Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland on Tuesday night.
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 totally volatile. The mobs are on rampage. We are making all attempts to bring the situation under control," Nagaland Police Chief, L.L. Doungel told news agency IANS. Troopers of Assam Rifles have been deployed in Kohima to assist police to tackle the situation even as tribal bodies vowed to continue with their protests till Chief Minister Zeliang steps down.
The state government has shut down internet and mobile data service to stop the spread of rumours through social networking sites, a government official said.
Zeliang, who said he is distressed by the unfortunate turn of events in the last few days, asserted he enjoys the full support of not only his party legislators — the Naga People's Front and Independent legislators besides the BJP legislators and party have also reaffirmed their support.
On the demand of his government's resignation, Zeliang said: "Making unreasonable and unconstitutional demands such as asking the entire cabinet to tender resignation when the ministry have undisputed, unquestionable majority and support of the entire assembly, is simply unacceptable and non-negotiable."