Nagaland Violence: Chief Minister TR Zeliang Says 'No Strong Reason' To Quit: 10 Points

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Nagaland Violence: Protesters agree to the funeral of the two men killed in Tuesday's police firing

Guwahati:  Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang today rejected demands for his resignation from protesters, saying that there was "no strong reason" for him to step down. Thousands of people have staged violent protests in capital Kohima and other cities demanding that Mr Zeliang and his entire cabinet step down, after two young Naga tribal men were killed in police firing earlier this week. The state government has deployed the paramilitary Assam Rifles in Kohima after protesters set fire to government buildings and vehicles on Thursday evening. Patrolling by the paramilitary force personnel in Kohima has helped keep the peace on Friday.
Here are the 10 developments in the story:
  1. Speaking exclusively to NDTV Mr Zeliang said, "If the majority of the elected members in the Assembly want me to resign, I will. Otherwise constitutionally I cannot resign. There is no strong reason for me to resign... Can't give in to the demands of the protesters."
  2. Mr Zeliang has appealed to the protesters to be calm and condemned the violence and arson. He also urged people to use social media judiciously and not fall prey to rumours.
  3. The protesters, who had refused to hold the funeral of the two men killed in police firing till their demand was met, agreed to bury them today after a meeting of Naga tribal groups and the Naga Tribal Action Committee, which is spearheading the protests.
  4. The funeral is likely to be held this evening. The protests, which had originally begun over reservation for women in local body elections, escalated after the two men were killed in Dimapur when the police fired while controlling a violent mob. 
  5. The protesters had carried the bodies to Kohima from Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial hub, and kept them at the Old MLA Hostel.
  6. On Thursday evening, angry protesters went on the rampage and set the Kohima Municipal Council building on fire after the state government did not accept its demand that the Chief Minister quit.
  7. Nagaland Governor PB Acharya was in Arunachal Pradesh, of which he has additional charge, and returned to Kohima this afternoon and met Mr Zeliang to review the situation in the state and firm up the government's strategy to restore normalcy.
  8. In New Delhi, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the Centre understood the sentiments of the people. "But this is no way that you attack the cabinet and vandalise government (institutions)," Mr Rijiju said.
  9. The protests had started over the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government's decision to go ahead with municipal polls, in which one-third of the seats were reserved for women. Tribal groups protested this clause on grounds that it dilutes constitutional provisions that allows them to follow their customary laws.
  10. The protesters say on January 27, the Chief Minister had agreed to defer the elections. But last week, the government decided to push ahead with the elections after an order from the Guwahati High Court, turning down the tribal groups' demand to defer them. Elections were held in 11 of the state's 32 municipal bodies on February 1.




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