Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Acharya on Thursday declared the process of elections to urban local bodies in the state as 'null and void' following protests against reservation for women in urban local bodies (ULBs).
"Keeping in view the sentiments of people, the state cabinet decided to ask the Election Commission to withhold the election process," he said in a statement.
The Nagaland government withheld the election process to 12 ULBs after violent clashes between citizens and the police near the residence of Chief Minister TR Zeilang on February 1 claimed the lives of two people and injured several others in Dimapur.
The protesters had demanded that Zeilang resign from the post of chief minister.
The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), consisting of Naga tribal groups, had made the demand during the send-off service of the two people who were killed in the protests.
The JCC also demanded that Dimapur Police Commissioner and the police personnel "involved in the indiscriminate firing" be suspended.
The protests began after the government decided to hold the municipal elections despite opposition from tribal bodies.
Citizens have been protesting against the ULB elections because of the 33% reservation for women, which, according to them, violates the special rights for Nagaland guaranteed by Article 371(A) of the Constitution.
At least 1,000 protesters "armed with spears and machetes took to the streets and set afire the old secretariat building which housed the offices of Kohima Municipal Council, Regional Transport Office and Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority and damaged government vehicles" in Kohima a few days ago.
However, officials said that elections for nine Town Councils were held without any disturbance, Zee News reported. Tribal groups also held bandhs in Phek, Tuensang, Longleng and Wokha districts of the state.