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Naga ministers escape mob fury
Published on 18 Dec. 2008 12:28 AM IST
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Two ministers from Nagaland had a narrow escape when an angry mob pelted stones at their convoy following an altercation between a personal security officer (PSO) of one of the ministers and a railway staff, near a manned railway level crossing in Golaghat district, Assam, Wednesday afternoon. Sources said Planning minister Dr. TR Zeliang and Power minister Doshehe Sema were on their way to Dimapur from Tuli under Mokokchung district, when their convoy consisting of six vehicles had to stop at Komarbandha-Dhodorali level crossing around 1 p.m. as a train had just passed by. After waiting for “quite sometime” for the barricade to reopen, the PSO of minister Doshehe reportedly got impatient and demanded the in-charge of the railway crossing to open the barricade and let the convoy pass, citing security concerns for the VIPs. However, the in-charge refused to pay heed to the PSO’s command at which the latter got furious and “slapped” the railway staff who immediately raised a hue and cry. Immediately, a large mob gathered and started chasing the PSO and attacked the convoy with stones and crude weapons. Besides damages to all six vehicles, one Nagaland police personnel also received minor injury due to stone pelting, sources said. On receipt of information, a Assam police reached the spot and tried to chase away the mob but the mob retaliated and one Assam police constable also sustained minor injury. The situation was finally brought under control around 4 p.m. and Assam police took into custody the PSO of the minister. When contacted, the press secretary to the Planning minister who was also traveling in the convoy, said the convoy had to take another route to reach Dimapur as the angry mob did not allow them to pass in the previous route. Alleging that the in-charge of the crossing was drunk at the time of the incident, the press secretary also said the matter would not have gone out of hand had the police acted promptly. “The mob also passed unsavoury comments on the ministers,” he added. Another official source told Nagaland Post that minister Doshehe was made to apologize to the mob while a senior bureaucrat from Nagaland was also “manhandled” by the mob when he tried to intervene in the matter. (With inputs from Diphu correspondent)

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