GUWAHATI: People are fleeing a remote Nagaland town in the hundred a day after an irate mob went on the rampage setting ablaze vehicles and damaging houses in protest against the killing of a couple.
As the situation remained tense on Monday, the authorities enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC for an indefinite period and requisitioned additional companies of security personnel.
The violence broke out in Kiphire town in the eponymous district following the discovery of the bullet-riddled bodies of government school teacher Alemba and his wife Naro, who was a nurse, at Shamator, some 20 km from Kiphire, in neighbouring Tuensang district on Saturday evening.
Alemba belonged to the Sangtam tribe and his wife to the Tikhir tribe.
They were shot dead by unidentified assailants inside a four-wheeler which they were travelling in from Tuensang to Kiphire. Shamator, where the incident took place, has a sizeable Yimchunger population and hence, they apparently became the targets of the mob. Sangtams are in a large majority in Kiphire.
The police said as the news about the couple’s killings spread, the mob went on the rampage in Kiphire, torching vehicles and damaging houses of Yimchungers.
“Yes, around 800 people belonging to the Yimchunger tribe have left the town since Sunday. Those who are leaving are doing it on their own. We are helping them by providing security,” Kiphire Deputy Commissioner A Chumremo Odyuo told Express.
The senior police officer said the situation was very tense but under control.
“We have deployed four companies of the India Reserve Battalions across the town to thwart any untoward incident. This is in addition to the deployment of State police personnel and Assam Rifles jawans. The mob was seen moving around the town today (Monday) but it couldn’t resort to any violence owing to the heavy presence of security personnel,” the police officer said.
State Home Minister Y Patton condemned the killings and directed police to nab the culprits as early as possible.