Nagaland: ‘Extortion outsourced to civilians’
Easter Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 24: Basing on crime data collected by Dimapur police in the past three years, a trend has emerged indicating that armed Naga groups involved in ‘extortion or illegal collection’ of money have started outsourcing the job to civilians.
The establishment of Dimapur Police Commissionerate gave updates about the past three years’ comparative crime report during a press conference in Dimapur on Tuesday evening.
According to Limasunep Jamir, Commissioner of Police, Dimapur, 92 criminal cases were registered in 2017 out which 137 persons were arrested in connection with extortion activities. The corresponding numbers in 2018 were 137 criminal cases and 207 extortionists; 109 criminal cases and 157 extortionists till date in 2019.
According to the police report, out of the 137 extortionists in 2017, 78% were civilians. In 2018, out of the 207 extortionists arrested, 134 were civilians; and this year, out of the 157 arrested so far, 95 have been civilians.
These figures have prompted the Dimapur police to come to the conclusion that extortion has now been outsourced to civilians.
‘Now what we see is that one person is collecting on behalf of multiple organisations, which include some business unions,’ according to a police officer.
The total amount of money recovered from the arrested persons were: in 2017, INR 1.42 lakh; in 2018, INR 9.05 lakh; and in 2019 (till date), INR 17.51 lakh.
The commissioner also expressed appreciation to the Public Action Committee under Naga Council Dimapur and other civil society organisations for their works towards curbing illegal collection in Dimapur and hoped that the rule of the law prevails.
At the same time, he said that as ‘heightened vigilantism’ could sometimes degenerate the law and cause serious public disorder, it would bode well for all concerned to be mindful of the reasonable restrictions of law.
Deputy Commissioners of Police, Aotula T Imchen and Maieem Mustafa also shared that in 90% of the criminal cases, the police makes suo moto arrests which means that the police themselves become the complainants. This was because most of the times, the witnesses are reluctant to help the cops, they said.
Imchen added that without independent witness, a case becomes one-sided. She requested the business community, transporters and civil societies to come forward with complaints, share information and fight the menace of extortion together.
The commissioner also informed that 25 CCTV cameras have been installed at various locations covering vital points of the commercial hub.