| A deserted road in Dimapur on Monday. Telegraph picture |
Kohima, June 30: Sporadic incidents of violence were reported during the dawn-to-dusk 12-hour total strike today in Dimapur called by the Nagaland Foothill Road Construction Committee.
The strike began at 5am.
The committee has called the strike in protest against state government for not heeding their demand for allotting contracts to their favoured contractors. The committee has rejected the state government’s allocation of work to eligible contractors through tenders.
There were clashes between strike supporters and those opposing it at some places in Dimapur, but because of timely intervention by police, there was no report of any casualty.
There were reports of stone-throwing between the two parties at 5th Mile in the morning but the police dispersed the crowd from the area. There was also confrontation near the Burma Camp area.
Some organisations like Tenyimi Union Dimapur opposed the strike. It consists of some Naga communities. PWD minister (roads and bridges) Kuzholuzo Nienu is also from the Tenyimi community.
Residents of some locality in Dimapur, including Nagarjan, boycotted the strike. In Chumukedima, pro-government supporters and the union forced traders to open shops in the afternoon.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF)’s youth wing also opposed the strike.Today’s strike has taken a communal turn as communities affiliated to the union opposed it.
The state government is constructing a foothill road from Dimapur to Tizit in Mon district to avoid travelling in Assam. Work started in December last year.
The aim was to avoid frequent harassment and strikes in Assam. But the project is facing problems from day one because of land acquisition, demands of militants and allotment of contracts.
The state government has proposed Rs 1,000 crore, but so far it has released nearly Rs 40 crore to the contractors.
A member of the youth wing, Karaiba Chawang, alleged that the issue had been politicised by some people with vested interests.