Nagaland: Bharat Bandh held amidst accusations of sabotage

Nagaland: Bharat Bandh held amidst accusations of sabotage
NPCC workers during the Dimapur leg of the country wide Bharat Bandh on September 10.


Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 10


The Dimapur leg of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) passed off amidst allegation of sabotage.


The 9:00am-3:00pm business shutdown passed off without much drama except for an incident, which the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) said was politically motivated. In the alleged incident, publicity material of the ‘bandh’ was removed by unidentified persons earlier in the morning. Banners and posters put up at various fuel outlets in town were reportedly taken down.


NPCC workers led by President K. Therie marched to the office of the Commissioner of Police following the incident to register a complaint. AICC Secretary Bhupen Kumar Borah was also part of the protestors, who marched to the CP’s office. This occurred as party workers carried out a silent procession around town.


Therie later told a media conference at the Congress Bhavan, Dimapur that it was clear the incident was politically motivated. “It may have been some direction from some people,” he added. As per the accounts of “people” at the petrol pumps where the banners were removed, he said that “police people” removed the banners. He did not specify which fuel outlets in particular.


While maintaining that they have no first hand witness to substantiate, he added, “This is the information we have. Therefore, we have given this information to the police. They have taken our complaint letter. They said they will investigate.”


NPCC General Secretary, Capt. GK Zhimomi stated it was “allegedly by government agencies.” He added that the police assured of a fair investigation and hoped “they will come out with the truth.”


The Nagaland Pradesh Youth Congress (NPYC) also condemned the alleged sabotage and demanded the concerned authorities to “book the culprits at the earliest and bring them into justice.”


The Dimapur police when asked to comment on the alleged intervention by government agencies denied involvement. PRO of the Dimapur police, ADCP (Crime) Relo T. Aye said that there was no direction as such from the government to sabotage the bandh call.


Therie, further described the bandh call a success. According to him, the call for business shutdown was called only in Dimapur and Kohima, with the two towns being the arterial commercial and administrative centres. In the other districts, NPCC units were asked to hold symbolic programmes in solidarity, he added.


The bandh in general passed off peacefully in Dimapur. In the words of the NPCC, the business shutdown was purely voluntary – a gesture expressing discontent at the ruling BJP-led NDA coalition government for the uncurbed skyrocketing fuel prices.


Businesses, except pharmacies, in the main commercial centres of Dimapur opened only after 3:00pm. Shops in the peripheries and in certain localities remained open. Hardly any bandh enforcers were seen except marching Congress party protestors.


Meanwhile, in Kohima, addressing a gathering at Congress Bhavan, NPCC Vice President, Khriedi Theunuo said the impact on the common people due to rise in the prices of petroleum products was huge and the government is unable to stop the price rise.


He challenged the people to stand together and fight for the rights of the people.