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S. I. Jamir heads new NPCC team, election held despite attempts by miscreants to disrupt polling

Newly elected NPCC office bearers (L to R) - Yankithang Lotha (treasurer), Khutovi Sumi, Sedem Khaming, Tingyeih Konyak (all vice presidents), S. I. Jamir, president, Khusatho, Aosahi and Nillo Rengma (all vice presidents). AICC special observer union minister for DoNER and mines, Bijoy Krishna Handique (extreme right) and AP Sethi member CEA election at Congress Bhavan Kohima on Wednesday. (NP)
Bureau Report KOHIMA/DIMAPUR, OCT 6 (NPN):
Published on 7 Oct. 2010 12:57 AM IST
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S.I Jamir was elected the new president of the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Wednesday poling 50 votes against his contender, I. Imkong who polled 29 votes. One vote was declared invalid. The electioneering was held at Congress Bhavan Kohima in the presence of PRO and other central observers amidst tight security following Tuesday night’s damage of a portion of the Congress Bhavan.
Yangkithang Lotha was elected the new treasurer polling 53 votes against his contender Z. Obed who polled 27 votes. Similarly, for the posts of six vice presidents, the following were declared elected– Khusatho (66 votes), Khutovi Sumi (65 votes), Sedem Khaming (57 votes), Nillo Rengma (55 votes), Tingyeih Konyak (52 votes) and Aosashi (50 votes). The results were formally declared by the PRO H.K. Patel.
The outgoing PCC president I. Imkong who was defeated in the party election today termed the election as “not free and fair at all.” He alleged that the PCC members were confined in three different places and that no contact could be made with them since September 12 till the time of election. He said this was not fair as in the election process one has to contact them.
Veteran congress leader and former governor Dr. S. C. Jamir who was also present during the electioneering process, claimed that the election was held in a free and fair manner. On the violence that marred the party electioneering process, Jamir termed it as “very unfortunate” which has damaged the image of the Nagas.
Meanwhile PRO H.K. Patel told mediamen that the election conducted peacefully in a free and fair manner. Describing as “unfortunate’ the indiscriminate firing that took place in the state capital, Patel said the party would look into the matter.
Jamir calls for unity
Newly elected NPCC president S.I. Jamir has appealed to the Congress party workers to come together and work for the betterment of the party.
“Elections are now over, all Congress men and women should come together as one and work towards strengthening the party,” he told a press conference here.
“We have to sink our differences and come together as one team,” he said. Jamir also appealed his opponent Imkong and his supporters to come and work together as a cohesive unit.
He said that the election was a family affair. The new NPCC president said whoever was suitable would be accommodated and that all tribes would be given representatives in the new office executives.
The newly elected president also said that the main task ahead was to strengthen and start working to face the 2013 state general election although he added that the agenda of any opposition party was to topple the government.
Condemning the indiscriminate firing incident, he said that the party would press the government to investigate into the firing incident.
Asked about the state government not holding the municipal and town council election, the newly elected NPCC president said any government of the day has to respect the constitutional system and assured to take up the issue with the government for holding early elections.
Jamir thanked the people of Nagaland and the state administration for giving full protection towards the conduct of the election. He also thanked the AICC president Sonia Gandhi for deputing union minister Bijoy Krishna Handique to over see the election which he claimed ended in peaceful manner. Further, he thanked the media for projecting the right picture to the people.
Imkong congratulates
Former President, NPCC, I. Imkong has congratulated S.I. Jamir and his team on winning the elections to various posts in the NPCC. Imkong wished luck to the new president and his team in the challenging task of running the party.
He also vehemently condemned the “criminal acts of arson and vandalism” at Congress Bhavan on Tuesday night and the firing incident near Congress Bhavan on Wednesday while polling was underway. He has urged upon the law enforcing agencies to conduct an inquiry into the incidents. He expressed gratitude to the state government for providing adequate security during the polls.
Meanwhile, the Dimapur District Congress Committee (DDCC) also congratulated S. I. Jamir on being elected the NPCC president. The DDCC expressed the hope that the veteran congress leader would be able to facilitate peace and stability upholding the party principle. The DDCC through its president, Kughato S. Aye extended full support and co-operation to Jamir’s leadership to strengthen the party in the state.
NYC office set on fire
Election to the various posts in NPCC took an ugly turn when the electioneering process was preceded by miscreants setting fire on the Congress Bhavan and damaging doors and windows during the wee hours followed by indiscriminate firing while the election process was in full swing resulting in the injury of one person.
Armed miscreants resorted to indiscriminate firing from different locations when the party election process was in full swing under heavy security amid tense situation.
The miscreants reportedly first resorted to blank firing at around 11.13 am from Old MLA Hostel junction (Phoolbari) followed by another round of firing from D-block side two minutes later and finally in front of southern gate of Kuochiezie (Kohima local ground) where one person received bullet injury.
Later, Police identified the injured as one Vitokhu (40) who was reportedly a ‘ss’ captain in the NSCN (I-M) set up and hailing from Ahoto Village, presently residing at Khushiabil village. He received a bullet wound on the back above the waist and was rushed to nearby city hospital. His condition was reported to be out of danger.
The victim reportedly told the police later that he was proceeding towards Kuochiezie along the footpath connecting NST bus station when the firing started. When people started running helter-skelter, he too joined them but was shot from behind by unknown person.
During the entire melee, the denizens of Kohima were caught in utter confusion with the armed police personnel chasing people to identify the culprit. People attending to their own duties started running here and there and the business establishments downed their shutters.
Earlier, the miscreants also went on rampage at the Congress Bhavan around midnight damaging doors and windowpanes and setting on fire to the office of the party youth wing at around 11.30 pm. The fire had completely damaged the youth wing office but due to the timely arrival of the police QRT, the fire was put under control saving the Congress Bhavan from being entirely damaged by fire and spreading to the neighbouring houses.
NSF condemns firing
NSF has, in strongest terms, condemned the firing incident at Kohima Wednesday when the NPCC election process was on and created panic.
It described the incident as “unfortunate” which took place during a crucial juncture when the intellectual Nagas through the initiatives of Forum for Naga Reconciliation were trying to bring all the Naga people together to a common understanding.
NSF president, Mutsikhoyo Yhobu said the youngsters of the Naga society were saddened to observe that the differences cropping up in the society was not only due to the armed groups, but most of the time due to some of vested interest individual political leaders using them (armed groups) to gain political mileage.
“Any political party or group should not try to create any form of misunderstanding and divisions within the Naga society by utilizing the service of petty armed miscreants, who are not aware about the agenda of any political organization,” the NSF said. It was stated that such activities would only bring about more division in the Nagas society and said any political party should desist from using such miscreants as their political weapon for individual gain. “But if they are true political leaders they should try to bring the Naga people together and create a conducive atmosphere in the greater interest of the Nagas,” the NSF said.
The Federation said that the younger generation was against the use of gun-culture but aspiring to have a society free from all forms of anti-social activities and. The NSF urged upon all the intellectual Naga leaders to avoid such activities, which were destructive to Naga society and urged them to adopt peaceful democratic exercises.

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