Some semblance of normalcy was noticed after five days of shutdown in Nagaland even as government offices remained closed following a fresh indefinite shutdown imposed by the Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) which began on Saturday.
The NTAC, an apex body of various tribal Naga communities, said the indefinite shutdown of government offices and a ban on plying of government vehicles will continue till chief minister TR Zeliang bows to their demands.
People were seen rushing to banks and ATM counters, while private vehicles were queuing up at the petrol pumps after five days of shutdown sponsored by the Joint Coordination Committee opposing Nagaland government’s decision to conduct elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) with 33 per cent reservation for women.
The government continued to shut down the internet and mobile data service to stop the spread of rumours through social networking sites.
“We will assess the situation. The internet and mobile data service will be restored once normalcy is restored,” a government official said.
The Kohima district administration also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC banning assembly of more than five persons and carrying of arms in certain areas including Raj Bhavan, Chief Minister’s official residence and the Civil Secretariat.
“It was an incident-free Saturday but we are keeping a close watch to ensure that there is no further breakdown of law and order in the wake of the indefinite shutdown,” Nagaland police chief, LL Doungel told IANS.
The tribal bodies are demanding the resignation of Zeliang’s cabinet following the government’s decision to hold local body elections in 12 towns across the state and the death of two persons in the state following clashes between the police and the public at Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, on Tuesday night.
“We will continue with our agitation till chief minister TR Zeilang and his council of ministers resign from their respective posts,” NTAC convener KT Velie told IANS.
However, legislators of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition government, which comprises of 48 Naga People’s Front (NPF), four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and eight Independents, who met on Friday night found no “ground or justification for the resignation of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers on account of the recent developments on the issue of ULB election in Nagaland.”
Of the 60 DAN legislators, only 42 of them who attended the meeting affirmed that the DAN Legislature Party “shall continue to function under the leadership of Zeliang as Chief Minister”.
Interestingly, BJP legislator Mmhonlumo Kikon was not invited for the emergency DAN Legislature Party meeting. “I don’t know why I was not invited for the meeting,” Kikon told IANS but refused to comment further.
Former Nagaland Home Minister Imkong Imchen, who is a suspended Naga People’s Front legislator, said the Chief Minister should step down owning moral responsibility for the prevailing law and order situation in the state.
“He (Zeliang) should have listened to the voice of the people when they are against the conduct of the local bodies elections. He should take the blame for the prevailing law and order situation and step down to restore normalcy,” Imchen told IANS.
Naga People’s Front legislator Neiphrezo Keditsu on Thursday submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation (NSMDC) Limited on moral grounds as one of the persons killed in the Dimapur police firing was from his village.