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Nagaland: Armed gangs running own Govt, says Governor

Five years after the framework agreement was signed between the Union Government and NSCN-IM leaders, Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who has also been a Central interlocutor for peace talks, in a letter to CM Neiphiu Rio stated that armed gangs are challenging the legitimacy of the state’s law and order machinery.

“There have been “unrestrained depredations” by over half a dozen “armed gangs” who are “brazenly running their so-called governments” and challenging the legitimacy of the state. “We can no longer tolerate the near-total collapse of the law and order machinery in the state,” Governor Ravi said in a letter to chief minister Neiphiu Rio recently.

Governor Ravi also stated that he has decided to uphold his constitutional obligation to effect law and order in Nagaland under Article 371A(1)(b).

Also read: What complicates the issue of Nagaland agreement, NSCN reveals

Henceforth, important law and order decisions pertaining to posting of officials entrusted with the maintenance of law and order and responsibilities of officials above the district level will be after approval of the governor, the letter said.

Meanwhile, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on June 28th, 2020 said the Governor RN Ravi has correctly assessed the law and order situation in the state.

There is “some hope” after his assessment of the situation, NPCC president K. Therie said in a release.

Therie said ever since the regional party in the state adopted the policy to merely facilitate and support the ongoing Naga talks on August 19, 2005, “it has gone beyond the prescription of the Constitution”. Alleging that the regional party had abandoned the Constitution and laws of the land, he said running parallel governments and allowing taxation by “multi-governments” by way of extortion and forced collections was accepted.

He said the “regional government” is responsible for the “all round systemizing of illegal taxes”.

Therie said many people were kidnapped while some others assassinated, some of them in the open, adding that cases were registered against “unknown miscreants”.

“Faction courts have confiscated even land, fines collected and land forcefully occupied and paid for the sake of payment. Red handed extortionists and murderers were arrested with unauthorised weapons but were released without trial of cases,” he stated.

Therie also alleged that when the public approach the government for shelter, they, especially the entrepreneurs, are directed to compromise with extortionists. He added that the administrators were used as mediators to compromise while police were even used as bodyguards for the leaders of factios.

Stating that all development departments share development funds, Therie said the funds released under Art 275(1) to be utilised for construction of 223 buildings across the state have vanished while the said buildings do not exist.

He said loans were taken from banks and later the lenders were threatened with dire consequences.

He said no contractor or supplier is free from paying commissions.

Therie further said police and factions’ tax collectors sit together at the gates, extorting all transport trucks in all the gates across all towns, in both “in” and “out” gates due to which Nagaland does not have any industry. He added that continuous extortion has strangled the growth of economy in the state.

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