DIMAPUR: Amidst unprecedented security arrangement, the indefinite NH 29 closure on Nagaland Government vehicles and oil tankers called by the Coordination Committee on Fuel Adulteration (CCoFA) took off on October 17. Despite the government declaring the closure as illegal, volunteers turned up in strength manning vital entry points into Dimapur and beyond.
The day saw volunteers set up camp at New Field and Dillai inter-state check posts, at Chumukedima, Medziphema and Zubza-Peducha sharing space with police personnel in full riot gear.
By-and-large uneventful, the state Chief Minister’s visit to Assam along with his Cabinet colleagues added buzz to the air. With the main exit points blocked, the CM’s motorcade made a detour to Assam via Burma Camp around 8:00 am for a meeting with his Assam counterpart, Sarbananda Sonowal at Kaziranga.
The CCoFA termed the CM’s move as a “moral victory” for the motive behind the closure call. “The government has declared the closure as ‘illegal’ but his action of sneaking out avoiding the highway points to the CM admitting the closure as legal,” commented a CCoFA member after the initial buzz surrounding the CM’s journey settled. The member concluded the CM’s action “nullified the (government) order at the same time validating the bandh.” The issue, the CCoFA maintained, was one of “morality” that of against corruption in governance.
The CM reportedly made the detour to avoid any unsavory situation. Later, the buzz was on how the CM would make the return trip. The CM and his entourage returned from Kaziranga-Assam at around 4:30 pm with the police clearing the New Field check post of volunteers. The volunteers regrouped later only to be pushed back and dispersed at around 7:00 pm.
CCoFA had asserted that its volunteers would go to the extent of courting arrest if the government did not fulfil their demands. The unfamiliarity with prolonged peaceful movements also came into picture to which a closure volunteer at Chumukedima replied, “We’ll be able to sustain. We have made the required arrangement for the long haul.”
Bandh supporters at Medziphema made a similar stance with the Medziphema Town Public Organisation and the Medziphema Town Youth Organisation standing by the CCoFA’s declared motive behind the bandh.
A security personnel who was on duty commented on conditions of anonymity, “As the police, we have to abide by government protocol… we have to abide orders. Yet as a civilian, I’d be lying if I said I don’t support a movement against corruption. From a moral standpoint I’d want the government to be a little more understanding.”
If the CCoFA is unhappy with the SIT, it could have approached the court for redress by filing a PIL instead of confronting the government, the personnel also reasoned.
(Source: Morung Express)