One person was shot dead during a clash between supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Naga People’s Front in Akuluto constituency in Nagaland’s Zunheboto district on Tuesday, The Hindu reported. A few other incidents of violence were also reported from across the state as it went to polls on Tuesday.
“Death of one man, reportedly shot in the chest, is confirmed,” the state’s Additional Chief Electoral Officer Moa Aie told the daily. “We have asked the DC [district commissioner] and SP [superintendent of police] of Zunheboto district to provide details.” Two people were reportedly injured.
Other reports, however, quoted Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha as saying that the supporters of the Naga People’s Front and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party had clashed in Akuluto at 11.10 am.
Earlier in the day, a bomb blast at a polling station in Mon district injured at least one person, ANI reported. Unidentified individuals threw a grenade, placed inside a bottle, at the polling booth. Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were imposed in Dhansiripar sub-division under Dimapur district on Tuesday, the Nagaland Post reported.
Curfew was also imposed in the districts of Longleng and Phek, and in the Tseminyu subdivision of Kohima district, The Morung Express reported. The deputy commissioner of Mokokchung district had imposed a curfew on February 25 after violence in the region continued unabated. The order will be in effect till Wednesday.
Voting was also stopped for a while at the Ladigarh polling station owing to tension along the Assam-Nagaland border, The Hindu reported.
In Christian-majority Nagaland, where 75% people had voted till 5 pm, the BJP’s likely challenge will be whether it succeeded in portraying itself as a secular party during campaigning. The Nagaland Baptist Church Council earlier this month warned the people against the BJP’s imposition of Hindu values in a state where more than 90% of the population is Christian.
Nagaland Chief Minister and Naga People’s Front leader TR Zeliang on Tuesday said that he expected polling to finish smoothly and for his party to get a majority. “We hope peace will prevail in the state and we will move towards a Naga political solution.”
The BJP – earlier an ally of the ruling Naga People’s Front – has tied up with Neiphiu Rio’s Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party for this election. Rio won from Northern Angami-2 unopposed after his only rival, Chupfuo Angami of the ruling Naga People’s Front, withdrew from the race.
The Congress has only 18 candidates in the fray in Nagaland because it is facing a “huge cash crunch”.