Nagaland unrest: Army called in Kohima after two Naga deaths spur violence

On Thursday, the Nagaland government called in five column of the Indian Army and imposed section 144 in Kohima after month-long protests in the state turned violent on Tuesday. The government has also suspended mobile services in the region, according to India Today.

The state has been burning over the issue of granting women reservation in civic polls for over a month. However, the situation spiraled out of control on Tuesday as two tribals were killed in police firing in Dimapur following violent protests in the state, according to India TodayThe government has now ordered a judicial enquiry into the killing of the two people.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The report states that hundreds of protesters tried to storm the private residence of chief minister TR Zeliang in Dimapur on Tuesday night, following which the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the crowd. The crowd retaliated with stone pelting and Molotov cocktails, and burning government vehicles, after which the police fired at the crowd, killing two tribals.

The two persons who were killed have been identified as Khriesavizo Metha and Bendangnungsang Ao, according to The Northeast Today.

The scene of the protests then moved to the state's capital as the bodies of the two killed youth were brought to Kohima on Wednesday.

Following this, the violence catapulted with scores of angry protesters swarming the streets. The mob launched into a rampage setting ablaze several government buildings while ransacking many others, according to The Hindustan Times

While various Naga tribal organisations have been protesting against the state government's decision to grant 33 percent reservation to women in the civic polls, which were scheduled to be held on 1 February, the government had been adamant on holding the elections.

However, the polls were deferred for a further date after two people died in police firing but that was not enough to appease the raging tribal bodies, who now demand that the chief minister should step down.

Many tribals believe that it is against their cultural beliefs, and hence an infringement of their constitutional rights.

The tribals in opposition to the government cite Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India, which provides the Naga people with the right to frame their own laws as per local customs.

Hokiye Sema, the president of Central Naga Tribal Council, a tribal body, told Firstpost, "In Naga society, a woman is not considered to be equal to men. She is not even allowed to speak in panchayat until and unless she is summoned by it. Providing 33 percent reservation to women amounts to giving her the same status as men and it gives men inferiority complex."

Sema said that the Naga society has been following these laws for more than thousand years and those cannot be just wiped out.


Published Date: Feb 02, 2017 10:35 pm | Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 10:59 pm