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Govt move to prevent bandh, shops ordered to open today, bandh cut short in Kohima
Correspondent DIMAPUR/KOHIMA, MAR 19 (NPN)
Published on 20 Mar. 2010 12:28 AM IST
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Even as the opposition Congress was determined to go ahead with its 6-hour statewide bandh that was to go into effect from 6 a.m. to 12 on March 20, the state government has asked all district administrations to prevent closure of shops and provide security against harassment to public. The state’s law and department of justice, in a press communiqué on Thursday, pointed out the Supreme Court had declared bandhs as unconstitutional and illegal.
The Congress party has called for the bandh in protest against the alleged misrule of the ruling DAN coalition and calling for the resignation of the coalition on moral grounds.
In Dimapur, the Deputy Commssioner Maongwati Aier has asked all shops not to close and also urged public to carry on their normal routine with assurance of security against harassment. Following suit, the chief executive officer Dimapur Municipal Council Nikhashe Sema has directed all shops and business/commercial establishments to remain open.
The DC and CEO of the DMC have also cautioned that those violating the order to remain open would be penalized as per the provisions of the law. The president of the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce Kasheto Sema has appealed to the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) to revoke the bandh. In a statement, the Chamber of Commerce president said though the business community was already traumatized by inflation, illegal tax collections, extortions and other anti-social activities; yet they have desisted from calling for a protest bandh in view of the problems that the public face when such bandh is called.
Further, Kasheto urged upon the political parties such as the Congress and NPF to refrain from calling such bandhs for political reasons as it would put the public and the business community into “immense hardship”. DC Mokokchung, C.M. Tsanglao said that there would be normal activities in the district as usual. According to DIPR, the DC said that security forces would be put in service to ensure that no untoward incident take place.
DCC firm on bandh
Meanwhile, the District Congress Committee (DCC), Dimapur has reiterated its stand on the bandh saying that it would be observed as planned from 6 a.m till 12 noon on March 20 in Dimapur district.
Speaking to Nagaland Post over phone, President, DCC, Dimapur, Kilen affirmed that the bandh would be observed within the entire district and that the DDCC was ready to ready to face any consequences if the situation so demanded. He also informed that students in uniform appearing exams would be exempted from the purview of the bandh.
Meanwhile, SP Dimapur, Liremo Lotha told Nagaland Post over phone that elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure that no untoward incident take place. He also said that additional forces have been requisitioned and necessary briefing given to OCs and commanders. Stating that no individual or group have the right to restrict movement of the people, Liremo asserted, “We have beefed up the security with a view to facilitate free movement of public.” He also added that such kind of action restricting the movement of people was an infringement of fundamental rights.
Bandh cut short in Kma
The opposition Congress party has cut short its proposed bandh on March 20 by three hours for Kohima but said that the bandh in the rest of the state would remain as declared earlier, for six hours.
The decision for the opposition to effect the bandh from 6am to 9 am in the state capital instead of the earlier programme from 6 am to 12 noon came in view of the Martyrs Day which the NSF observes every year, NPCC general secretary (Administration) Medokul Sophie revealed on Friday. The NSF is also said to have slightly changed its scheduled programme from 10 am to 10.30 am.
Sophie assured that the Congress party which since its inception 125 years back believed in the principle of non-violence and assured to stick to the principle. The party has no plan for any confrontation but called the bandh only to tell the people about the misrule of the DAN government.
Further, he also said that the Congress party was very flexible and that it has decided to exempt those students who were having examination and also those schools having classes.
NASU rejects
The Northern Angami Students Union (NASU is outraged by the “irresponsible decision” of the Congress party in Nagaland to hold a bandh on March 20.
“On this particular day two of our bonafide members Lt. Kekuojalie and Lt. Vikhozo sacrificed their precious lives defending the cause and welfare of the Nagas as a whole….
Hence due acknowledgment and respect is being accorded to this day on a yearly and routine basis,” stated a release issued by NASU president Ketholetuo Angami and general secretary Kelhousetuo Angami.
The NASU said when it was of the view, that the Congress as a responsible and mature political party would give due recognition and respect for the day, it was “most astonishing and outrageous that contradictorily, whether out of sheer ignorance or disregard, Congress party in Nagaland has proposed a bandh on this Martyrs Day.”
The NASU said it viewed the proposed bandh as an “insult and a direct challenge” to the students’ community as a whole. Reaffirming its solidarity to the Martyrs Day, the NASU said it would “never” entertain such unwanted incidents within its jurisdiction by any individual, organisation, political party etc, which have the tendency to dilute the sanctity of the Martyrs Day, now or in the future.

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