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Anti-corruption rally hit by tear gas and water cannon

Senior ACAUT Nagaland member KK Sema stood his ground defending the people’s right to protest, even as State Police forces used tear gas and a water cannon against protestors at a public rally against rampant corruption in the State on Thursday, December 15. (Posted on Facebook)
Senior ACAUT Nagaland member KK Sema stood his ground defending the people’s right to protest, even as State Police forces used tear gas and a water cannon against protestors at a public rally against rampant corruption in the State on Thursday, December 15. (Posted on Facebook)

•    Nagaland Police uses excessive force on peaceful protestors
•    ACAUT Nagaland calls for CBI enquiry and arrest of scam accused

 

Morung Express News
Dimapur | December 15

 

In a show of poor collective decision making, field officers of the Nagaland State Police decided to hit protestors at the ACAUT Nagaland rally with water cannon and tear gas munition here today. The Police admitted later that “orders from the top” had made clear that the ACAUT public rally should not be held at any cost.

Nagaland State Police in Dimapur is seen here using water cannon and tear gas to disperse a peaceful assembly of protestors on Thursday, December 15. (Morung Photo)

Nagaland State Police in Dimapur is seen here using water cannon and tear gas to disperse a peaceful assembly of protestors on Thursday, December 15. (Morung Photo)

Protestor’s confront police personnel during the public rally. (Morung Photo)

Protestor’s confront police personnel during the public rally. (Morung Photo)

Addl. Dy. Commissioner of Police/PRO of Dimapur Police today said that the decision to hit protestors gathered to address a peaceful rally was taken collectively by field officers as permission to hold the rally was previously denied by the Dimapur district administration.

 

The Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland members had gathered at the Khermahal junction in Dimapur today after the Commissioner of Police promulgated Sec. 144 CrPc (curfew) within 100 metres radius of the Dimapur City Tower in the morning of December 15. The activists were demanding unconditional release of three ACAUT Nagaland members who were arrested on December 12 and protesting the unabated corruption in Nagaland State.

 

As business and traffic went on per usual in the curfew zone, the Nagaland Police focused its strength outside the curfew perimeter where the activists had shifted their rally. Having made two announcements for the public to disperse, the Police attempted to grab banners and microphones. Finally, they resorted to lashing out at the peaceful assembly with water jets and tear gas ammunition, apart from riot police aggressively charging at them. Terming the gathering as “unlawful assembly,” the Dimapur Police justified its action stating that it can use any means possible to disperse the same despite knowing of the presence of women, children and the elderly in the public. Injured women were later taken to a nearby hospital by activists.


In response, ACAUT Nagaland activists stated that if the State is so shaken by the law and order situation in the State, then President’s Rule should be promulgated in the State.

 

Appalled by the use of force, a press release from ACAUT Nagaland stated that the Nagaland Police had taken “unlawful action” by curbing a fundamental right of the citizens (Right to Freedom of Expression) and thus needs “thorough training on the limits of their authority.”

 

‘This is just the beginning’
ACAUT Nagaland activists remained steadfast through the day. Despite taking direct hits from the water cannon, surrounded by tear gas shelling, senior ACAUT Nagaland member Kekhiye K Sema stood his ground. He maintained that the people have the right to protest and challenged the Police to arrest him.

 

“This is just the beginning,” said Sema, while addressing a press conference at Hotel Tragopan later. The “brute force” used by the State today showed that the present government intends to continue the “deprivation of our society” and does not want any public opposition to the same, Sema added.

 

In two resolutions taken after the rally, the ACAUT Nagaland called for a CBI enquiry into the PDS management system under the Food and Civil Supplies Department in Nagaland State before January 31, 2017. It also called for the immediate arrest of R Zumomo Tsanglao, Tinku and Nirmal.

 

Additionally, the ACAUT Nagaland has decided to file Public Interest Litigation(s) against the Food Corporation of India, Nagaland State Department for Food and Civil Supplies and the Chief Minister of Nagaland.

 

Noting that the time for silence is over, KK Sema said that the Chief Minister’s office is being misused in Nagaland State and this cannot be tolerated. According to information available with the ACAUT Nagaland, the Department of Food and Civil Supplies has been controlled by the families of a handful of people (who are currently named in the ACAUT Nagaland FIR in the PDS scam case) for two generations, and by protecting them the Government of Nagaland is promoting “father to son inheritance corruption” in Nagaland.

 

“The brutality and abuse of the powers by state government using its state machinery to crush the voice of the general public, voicing out against corruption is the strongest proof of corrupted government and further confirmation of Chief Minister trying to cover his corruption activities in the Food and civil supplies department in collusion with faceless conspirators operating within and from outside the state of Nagaland,” ACAUT Nagaland maintained in its press release.

 

Bail hearing today
Meanwhile, bail proceedings to release the three ACAUT Nagaland activists currently lodged in Dimapur Sub-Jail have begun, informed ADCP/PRO of Dimapur Police. Their bail hearings are set to take place on December 16, Friday, at the Dimapur DC Court.



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