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Nagaland

Kohima rally resolves for ‘One Government, One Tax’

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By EMN Updated: Nov 01, 2014 12:30 am
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Principal Correspondent
KOHIMA, OCTOBER 31

People in the State capital have come out in the open under the aegis of Kohima Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) and Angami Students’ Union (ASU) to support the ‘one government, one tax’ campaign and avoid all forms of unabated taxations imposed by different ‘Naga political groups’ and illegal toll taxes collected by municipal and town councils in the check gates.
Thousands of denizens from all walks of lives, including young and old and students joined the mass public awareness rally held under the aegis of Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland here today.
All business establishments had their shutters down in solidarity during the rally while most of the educational institutions also remained closed in support of the rally held at Old MLA Hostel junction.
‘Make Nagaland corruption and taxation free’, ‘Corruption go back, not in Nagaland’, ‘Nagas are tired of multiple tax’, and ‘Listen to the voice of the people’ read some of the placards carried by the public during the rally while a banner reads, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
The rally resolved to support the peoples’ movement towards ‘one government, one tax’ and avoid all forms of unabated taxations imposed by different bodies of the ‘Naga political groups’ and toll taxes imposed by municipal and town councils.
The first resolution says, “The Naga people reiterate in support for ‘One Government One tax. However as long as the Naga political groups do not unite under one single entity, the Naga people shall not pay tax to any of the NPGs”. The second resolution said the rally demanded from the state government that an anti-corruption ombudsman – Nagaland Lokyukta should be constituted in the state. “Therefore, the Nagaland Lokyukta Act should be passed in the winter session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and in order to give teeth to Nagaland Lokyukta, a CBI branch office should be opened in the State”, the Naga people resolved.
Endorsing ACAUT to carry on with the movement for the general welfare of the public, the mammoth gathering resolved that at any point of time if the core members of ACAUT Nagaland and its district units are harmed by any of the ‘Naga political groups,’ the Naga people shall stop cooperating with such factions in all forms.
In his introductory remarks, ACAUT co-chairman Joel Kath said Kohima being the intellectual capital of the state with all the tribes residing here and government offices as well as tribal and students bodies established, the rally has been aptly organized here to create awareness amongst the general masses.
He maintained that it was because of the 40 thousand people coming out to support ACAUT during the October 31, 2013 rally in Dimapur that emboldened the movement, lest it could have been disbanded long ago. “ACAUT is not an organization but a people’s movement without any elegance, but to have a corruption free state,” he reiterated.
Most of the speakers during the rally which included leaders of tribal bodies like Nagaland Tribes Council, ENPO, Sumi Hoho, Ao Union Kohima, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Students Federation, Angami Students’ Union, NPMHR, district units of ACAUT and many more expressed resentment over the multiple taxation on various commodities by Naga underground groups and government departments at the check gates. They were of the opinion that such activities cannot lead to Naga sovereignty and is never for the Naga cause. The organisations also extended full support and cooperation to ACAUT till the ‘goal is achieved’. They also expressed that Naga society is filled with corruption and 50 years of statehood is enough to have a corruption free state.
“This rally should be a starting point for an ending of the pro-peoples’ movement,” said NPS joint secretary Kristopher Ltu.
Naga peoples aspire, live and die for ‘The Good Life’ ahead, which was reverberated by thunderous cheers and repetition by the mammoth gathering after Kekhrie Yome of the NPMHR.
“Nagas are unable to live in our land because of unabated taxation and the movement has to bring an end to such unlawful practices,” a representative of Sumi Hoho said.
Law has failed in Nagaland, and it is the own Naga ‘national workers’ and corrupt politicians destroying the Nagas, said former minister Seyiekuolie while also appealing the Naga leaders to change and respect the law to make Nagaland better.
The speakers also lambasted the corrupt practices of the state government and senior bureaucrats in various departments while also pointing out that, deductions by ministers and illegal collection by Naga political groups has hampered the development process in the state.
Member ACAUT Advisory Committee, K K Sema called upon Nagas to stand together to fight corruptions and multiple taxations for a better future of the Naga people.
Expressing that the unresolved Naga political process is one causes for such corruption and unabated taxation in the state, he said the dialogue between the NSCN(IM) and Government of India, is for the future of the Naga people, and Nagas have every right to know about the demands and proposals of the NSCN(IM) put up to GoI. Sema also called upon the ‘Naga political groups’ to stand united and convey the message to the Government of India if ‘we are for one sovereignty of the Naga people instead of being dividing and fighting against each other as well as taxing the Naga people’.
“Are we cowards to remain quite despite such massive corruption taking place in front of us,” the retired Commissioner & Secretary questioned while stating that the day has come for the Naga people to open ‘our brain’ and think what has gone wrong. “We cannot allow such activities to continue,” he said.
“We are all unhappy and angry over the unabated taxations by Naga political groups, yet we silently continue to bear. This is the time to stand up and take decision,” he said.
“If we allow to continue such practices, what will be our children’s future,” he said while seeking support to make it a full and complete movement of the Naga people.
ACAUT official and president of Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation, Kezhokhotuo Savi said Naga society is marred by corruption which needs to be cleaned up with such peoples’ movement.
ACAUT advisory committee member and social activist, Niketu Iralu appealed “let us claim ownership of the growing young Naga society to take care and make it a better place as the moment to take the responsibility has come”. The change should come from oneself starting from students, family and villages, Niketu Iralu said, adding that ‘if we are to build a new future, all forms of corruption has to be stopped.’
The rally commenced with pastor of Faith Harvest Church, Pastor Shan Kikon pronouncing the invocation while KCCI president Z. Sekhose tendered the vote of thanks. The rally concluded with the gathering raising one hand and other on the heart in singing “We shall overcome”.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 01, 2014 12:30:54 am