DIMAPUR, Oct 19 - The Co-ordination Committee on Fuel Adulteration (CCoFA) has suspended its indefinite bandh on NH 29 in Nagaland following an assurance from Chief Minister TR Zeliang that the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed to probe fuel adulteration cases in the State, would submit chargesheets within seven days.
The CCoFA, which launched the NH bandh on October 17 demanding a CBI probe into these cases, decided to suspend their agitation immediately after a meeting with Zeliang at his residence here yesterday.
The Chief Minister assured the CCoFA members that if they are not satisfied with the SIT report, an independent inquiry commission would be formed to investigate the cases. Zeliang promised the CCoFA members to send a written assurance through the State Chief Secretary.
Police took into custody nine leaders of CCoFA at Chumukedima after the State Cabinet on Sunday declared the bandh as illegal.
CCoFA leaders were detained by police from Patkai Bridge where volunteers were stationed to enforce the bandh since Monday. According to CCoFA, the detention order of its leaders, which included three complainants in the fuel adulteration case, was reportedly issued by ACP Khalo Khapfo, a member of the SIT constituted for investigating the fuel adulteration case.
The arrest of the CCoFA leaders took an ugly turn when protestors, numbering hundreds and anti-riot gear-clad police personnel started pelting stones at each other.
The protestors marched towards NAPTC Chumukedima to court arrest after which police resorted to lathi charge and firing of tear gas shells to prevent them from forcibly entering the Police Complex.
Two student leaders, president and vice-president of Chumukedima Town Youth Organisation (CTYO), were seriously injured and hospitalised.
Protestors accused police of being the aggressors when they allegedly unleashed violence on the protestors without any provocation. �The police thrashed and kicked our leaders mercilessly as if they were animals,� an angry protestor said.
The CCoFA condemned the �illegal detention� and police �high-handedness� terming it as unlawful. The committee demanded the higher authority to probe the matter and take disciplinary action against the officers involved.