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NVCO asks police: What about extortion at check gates?

By EMN Updated: Jul 18, 2019 11:57 pm

Dimapur, July 18 (EMN): The Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) is appreciative of the Jotsoma Youth Organisation (JYO) for calling out the Kohima traffic establishment allegedly for extorting from truckers.
Likewise, the NVCO appreciated the police authorities for expressing “regret” about the alleged incident in Kohima.
That said, the NVCO has sought clarification what the police has been doing in regard to “illegal collection” being exacted at check gates maintained by the Nagaland police.

The NVCO issued a press release to the media on Thursday seeking action from the authorities on all matters of extortion and harassment of the public by various groups.

The organisation declared that the state government agencies, especially the district administrations, were failing on their part to control extortion activities along highways and at check-gates by the Nagaland police and other groups.

The organisation expressed appreciation for the JYO for highlighting the ‘shameful conduct’ of Kohima traffic police at Kezhanu, NH-29 in Kohima.

The NVCO denounced the ‘shameful conduct of Kohima traffic police in the midst of untold misery faced by the travellers and the truckers due to landslide.’

The NVCO noted that the additional police superintendent and ‘PRO Kohima’ had stated “expression of regret” for some of the Kohima traffic policemen engaging in “illegal collection of cash” at an area known for landslides. An assurance was stated to have been given that they will be ‘more vigilant to avoid such unwanted incidents’ in future.

Nonetheless, the NVCO wondered “what about the illegal collection of cash at the check-gate maintained by Nagaland police?”

The organisation reminded the police establishment that even within the stretch between the check gate at Khuzama and the one at Phesama there are more than six pay-counters including those of the petroleum and land transport workers’ federation of India, and other organisations etc.

“What is the state government agency going to do with these illegal collections of cash as per the government standing orders? The practice of illegal collection of cash and imposing of multiple taxations upon the traders in the state is one major cause to price-rise,” the NVCO reminded.

“Every now and then temporary rise of prices on essential commodities including building materials is common in Nagaland. In the commercial hub of the state, Dimapur too many pay-counters besides the two main Nagaland check-gates situated at the entry point to state/Dimapur were huge harassment to public especially transporters and business community.”

Further, the statement referred to Nagaland’s capital town Kohima which has become ‘the best place for fund-raise in several forms such as donation voucher, selling lottery ticket/calendar, exorbitant lunch/dinner ticket, exorbitant rate of packed cooked meat and uncooked meat especially pork, washing vehicle at pump/gas station etc…”
The practice is ‘spoiling market price’ besides amounting to being ‘public harassment.’

‘The state government agencies especially the district administration is failing on their part to control the illegal collection of cash on highways and at the check gates by Nagaland police, associations, public organisation, unions, federation etc in the state of Nagaland,’ the organisation stated.

Further, the press release stated that the NVCO had printed out the order June 22 2009 issued by the government of Nagaland, and the common judgement and order issued by the Gauhati High Court. The booklet containing the copies was published and widely distributed during consumer rights campaigns throughout the state, the organisation stated.

“The state government vide order dated 22.06.2009 issued by the chief secretary has banned illegal collection of cash in the check-gate or in any part of the highway. The said order stated that the state government have decided that henceforth no collection of taxes shall be made by any organisation or individual including government departments such as Police, Excise, Forest and Taxes Departments etc,” the press release stated.

The order stated further that no ‘collection of cash’ will be allowed at the check gates or in any part of the highway henceforth, the NVCO stated.

Again, the Gauhati High Court in its common judgement and order dated 03.06.2014 has disallowed several unions, association, or federations from collection of cash on highways.’

Further, the organisation reminded that the high court has ‘consequently dismissed all the writ petitions filed by several unions/ associations/federation including three writ petitions of the Petroleum and Land Transport Workers Federation of India, two writ petitions of Dimapur Land Transport Workers Union, Dimapur District Auto rickshaw Drivers’ Union, Dimapur Motor Workers Trade Union, Dimapur Auto Rickshaw Owners’ Union, Dimapur Truck Drivers’ Union, Dimapur Truck Owners’ Association and the Motor Workers Association, Dimapur.’

By EMN Updated: Jul 18, 2019 11:57:50 pm