Normalcy Resumes In Nagaland’s Kohima

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Kohima: Nagaland’s violence-hit capital Kohima experienced its first day of normalcy on Saturday with the opening of educational institutions, banks, business establishments and shops.

Prohibitory orders were clamped in Kohima on February 2 after violence and torching of several government buildings by protesters who are against the ongoing elections to urban local bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women.

With business activities finally kicking off, long queues were seen at petrol pumps and shops and markets on Saturday.

Prohibitory orders are still in force in some areas, a few state government offices also remained closed and government vehicles stayed off roads. Mobile data and SMS services are also not working.

The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) supported by various tribal organisations had called the bandh on February 1 in different parts of the state.

During a public protest at Dimapur on the night of January 31, two Naga youths were killed in police firing. Their bodies 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 on Friday and the funeral service, conducted by Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship, was attended by thousands of people.
The Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) Kohima on Friday 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 (DAN) government conveyed their support to the leadership of Zeliang following an emergency meeting held late on Friday night.