The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday directed the Nagaland High Court to constitute 33% reservation for women in municipalities and town councils in the state, IANS reported. The judgement came after several protests were held by the Naga civil society, which opposed quota for women, arguing that it would infringe upon Naga customary laws and tradition as mentioned by the Constitution.
A Naga woman had filed a petition alleging that the extra-constitutional bodies, which were opposed to the election, were trying to prevent fair polls in the state. “We are prima facie convinced that elections to constitute municipal councils and town councils in Nagaland, with 33% reservation of seats for women, should be held freely and fairly,” the judgement said, according to The Times of India. The court also asked the state government to provide adequate security to candidates and voters.
However, civic polls will be held for only 12 of the 32 urban local bodies as scheduled. The State Election Commission said elections to the Dimapur Municipal Council, East Dimapur and six town councils were postponed by two months because of security reasons.
Scores of people took to the streets to protests against the high court judgement, reported Hindustan Times. Curfew was also imposed in some places because of the agitation.