In a shocking incident of yet another poll-related violence in Nagaland, a person has been reportedly killed in police firing during a protest at Noklak Assembly constituency on Wednesday mid-night.
The incident came to light 6-hours before re-polling at four polling stations in four districts namely Zunheboto, Wokha, Mon and Noklak districts of Nagaland on Wednesday. The re-poll started from 7 am and continued till 4 pm in the evening.
According to reports, a clash broke out between supporters of a political party were holding protest near Noklak local ground at the DC gate demanding a re-poll for the 56th Noklak Assembly constituency.
The protest then turned violent, following which the police resorted to blank firing to scare the people.
One person is suspected of having a gunshot wound and died on arrival at the hospital.
The family members of the deceased are now demanding justice for him.
Reason for the protest
It is learned that on election day i.e. on February 27, the polling officer allegedly took the electronic voting machine (EVM) without obtaining the polling agents’ signatures, while, many other voters were also denied the opportunity to cast their ballots despite waiting all day in a polling station within the constituency.
Reacting to this, a complaint letter demanding a re-poll for Noklak village ‘A’ polling station was submitted by the supporters of a political party to Noklak DC on February 27, however, it was reportedly denied.
A day later, after the Election Commission of India (ECI) issued a notification declaring fresh polls in four districts of the state on March 1, it was found that re-poll for the Noklak village ‘A’ polling station was not listed in notification, the supporters of the political party turned furious.
The protesters then marched to the deputy commissioner's office asking for an EVM or a re-vote at the "A" polling station in Noklak village.
The security forces were resorted to blank firing and fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Post-Violence in Nagaland
After polling concluded on February 27, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from across Nagaland last Tuesday.
Reacting to the post-poll violence, the state government had suspended mobile internet services in Kiphire district, while the district administration at Longleng imposed curfew in Longleng town apprehending breakdown of law and order.
As per a report by Nagaland post, at least three youths and one IRBn jawan were injured when supporters of a candidate demanding re-poll in some polling stations in Kiphire district confronted the IRB personnel near DC office at Kiphire town. The supporters also threw stones at the Deputy Commissioner’s office. According to Kiphire Police, three to four houses were also damage by the youths. However, timely intervention of the police prevented the situation from spiralling out of control. The situation in the town remained tense till evening.
In Kiphire, apprehending grave law and order problems and post poll violence in the district and fearing use of messaging services like SMS, WhatsApp and other social media platforms in spreading rumours, false information, circulating inflammatory texts, pictures, videos, etc, the Home department suspended mobile internet service over the entire district with immediate effect till further orders, the report by Nagaland post said.
In an order, earlier home commissioner Abhijit Sinha also cautioned that any violation of the order would be punishable under Section 188 CrPC, and also under the relevant sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
Curfew in Longleng town
On the other hand, following reports that there was a likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and properties due to unlawful activities by some organisations, DC Longleng Dharam Raj has ordered imposition of curfew in Longleng town, prohibiting any movement of persons outside their respective residence, with effect from 12 noon of February 28 till 7 p.m. of March 1.
DC however stated that the curfew would not apply to government agencies involved in enforcement of law and order and other essential services. In case of any emergency and for persons wanting to take part in funerals, etc, application could be made to the DC or superintendent of police for permission. Their movement would however be restricted until a written permission was obtained by them. According to reports, supporters of two rival candidates were involved in stone pelting, during which some houses and vehicles were also damaged. There were also reports of blank firing.