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Protests erupt in poll-bound Mizoram over removal of top official

IANS  |  Aizawl 

Normal life was thrown out of gear in poll-bound on Tuesday, as a collective of NGOs organised a state-wide protest against the removal of Principal (Home)

The state's apex organisation of civil societies and student bodies -- NGO Coordination Committee (MNCC) -- is demanding the removal of (CEO) S.B. Shashank, after Chuaungo was removed on an order.

Thousands of people held a peaceful protest in front of the office of the in Aizawl.

According to an of the state Election department, the last week removed the Principal (Home) from his post for "dereliction of duty and interference in election process".

"The in its order said that if Chuaungo continues to hold his post, it would have an adverse effect on the conduct of a smooth, free and fair election in the state," the said, quoting the poll panel order.

The in his report to the Election Commission reportedly said that Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, was creating obstacles in allowing the Reang tribals, sheltered in for over 21 years, to vote in the November 28 polls to constitute the 40-member Assembly.

A three-member Election Commission team, comprising Jharkhand L. Khiangte, Election Commission and Commission S.B. Joshi, arrived here on Tuesday to deal with the situation.

Most markets, shops and business establishments remained shut and private as well as passenger vehicles remained off the roads in support of the protests.

A senior police said that attendance in government offices and banks was also low. "No untoward incident was, however, reported from anywhere in the state."

Christian-dominated Mizoram is the only state ruled by the in northeast that comprises eight states.

Mizoram in separate letters to and strongly opposed the Election Commission's order removing Chuaungo.

The 35,000 Reang tribals, taking shelter in for over 21 years, have demanded setting up of polling stations in refugee camps so that they could cast their votes.

The Reang tribal refugees, comprising 5,907 families, fled Mizoram and have been staying in Tripura's Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions since October 1997 following ethnic tension after a official was killed.

Among the refugees, just over 11,000 are eligible to vote in the Mizoram elections.

Meanwhile, Mizoram Shashank said in Aizawl that he never had any intention to hurt the sentiments of the local people.

"I strictly went by the rules and the Election Commission's guidelines," the CEO told reporters.

on Monday wrote to Modi, seeking his intervention to restore normalcy in the state before the polls.

The two main political parties in the state - the and the BJP - are also supporting the protests spearheaded by the MNCC.

--IANS

sc/shs

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 20:54 IST
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