Nagaland Government Has Taken Serious Note Of Extortion Issue, Says Deputy CM Patton - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland government has taken serious note of extortion issue, says Deputy CM Patton

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 30, 2024 12:43 am
Nagaland
Y Patton and Rupin Sharma addressing journalists in Kohima on Tuesday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of Home and Border Affairs, Y Patton on Tuesday asserted that the state government considers the activities of Naga political groups (NPGs), as outlined in the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) letter, “illegal”.

Addressing journalists at the Secretariat in Kohima, he said that a cabinet decision was taken on April 26, to inform the chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) and Ceasefire Supervisory Board (CFSB) to enforce strict adherence to ceasefire ground rules.

The cabinet had decided to book violators under the National Security Act (NSA) and detain them outside the state, and the same has been conveyed to the Commissioner and the Director General of Police (DGP) of Nagaland for urgent follow-up action, he said.

“Accordingly, the DGP has initiated action by immediately writing to the Chairman CFMG/CFSB with a request that these various groups be advised on absolute adherence to Cease Fire Ground Rules and that the unauthorised and illegal activities undertaken by the groups do not vitiate the law and order situations in the state and created unrest among the business community in the state, particularly in Dimapur,” Patton said.

He went on to say that the staff officer for chairman of CFMG/CFSB had responded by saying that, “such illegal activities were a cause of concern for some time”, and the matter was not only deliberated in several meetings of the CFMG /CFSB in the past but also highlighted with the various groups.

The deputy CM said that the government after “carefully examining” the five-point charter of demands of DCCI and the response/clarification by the chairman of CFMG/CFSB, is of the opinion that the activities mentioned in the DCCI’s charter “are against the relevant laws of the land and invite appropriate legal action”.

The government did not remain silent over the issue and the problem of extortion by multiple groups in Nagaland. It took serious note of the issue and directed DGP Nagaland to take stringent action against illegal activities, he maintained.

He went on to say that the government would leave no stone unturned over any form of illegal activities in the state.

Not taxation, ‘purely extortion’

Further, the deputy CM clarified that money collected by the NPGs is not taxation but “purely extortion”.

He said that the department is faced with the problem of people not coming forward to report cases, and urged the public to overcome their fear and report extortion cases to the authorities, assuring them of anonymity and protection.

DGP Rupin Sharma echoed the deputy CM’s concerns, highlighting the challenge posed by the reluctance of individuals to report extortion cases.

He said that in the past six months, 85 to 90 per cent of extortion cases registered by Dimapur Police, are suo moto cases due to the absence of complainants.

Despite the initiative from the Nagaland police, civilians and business communities are “not very willing” to come forward with extortion complaints, he said, attributing it to fear of retaliation from the perpetrators.

Sharma urged the public to trust the police and report any instances of extortion or ceasefire ground rule violations, assuring complete confidentiality.

He also mentioned that during the recent cabinet meeting, the Nagaland Police and Home Department were tasked with developing a plan to enhance witness protection.

Further, the state government assured the department of helping them with infrastructure and improvement of mobility of the police force, he informed.

The police chief said that as part of the government and under the Indian constitution, it is appropriate to follow the law of the land.

“The ceasefire ground rules are clear and there is nothing explicit in the rules which permit them to collect or to commit extortions. If there is no explicit permission to commit extortion then it will be taken as a violation of the law of the land and will be dealt with accordingly,” he asserted.

Also read: Nagaland government declares NPG taxation, summons, raids ‘illegal’

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 30, 2024 12:43:40 am
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