Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Nagaland: Tension grips Noklak after violence


Noklak town continues to be under heightened tension after post-poll violence claimed the life of a supporter of one political party and injury on another when security forces had to resort to blank firing to prevent torching of the DC Office at around 12 a.m. (March 1).
Tension began on February 27 night after supporters of the BJP candidate under 56 Noklak assembly constituency had demanded repoll. The BJP had also lodged a complaint to the CEO that the presiding officer had sealed the EVM and made the diary entry in the absence of its polling agents
Next day on the evening of February 28, the supporters of the candidate were informed that the demand for repoll had been refused after considering all aspects.

Despite warning by security forces to withdraw, the protestors continued to gather and then reportedly tried to storm the DC office against the decision to not order a repoll at Polling Station No.7 under Noklak village ‘A’. Police sources said the protestors turned violent outside the perimeter of DC’s office where the EVMs were stored. The sources said that the protestors then began throwing petrol bombs at the office which set fire to external portions of the office. However, there was no major damage to the office.
As preventive measures, security forces resorted to blank fire in order to disperse the protestors. However, in the melee, one person was reportedly shot on the chest and succumbed to injuries while another person received bullet injuries. The victim was identified as L. Tongpa aged 33 and son of Lusop. The injured person was rushed to the district hospital for treatment on the head/neck, while his condition was stated to be stable.
The protestors initially refused to allow the body of the victim to be released till repoll is held in the particular polling station.

By late evening hundreds of youths, reportedly from nearby areas reached the public ground. Later tension eased when most of the protestors went away after releasing the body of the victim to authorities.
Sources said that the body was later kept in police custody and would be sent for post-mortem.
Authorities also rushed in additional security forces to prevent any untoward incident. Eventually most of the crowd dispersed but authorities were still keeping a high alert.
State police personnel, BSF, SBB and CRPF personnel were deployed at strategic locations to thwart any untoward incident especially ahead of the counting which will take place on March 2 morning.


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