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KCCI calls off indefinite shops closure
Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 25 (NPN):
Published on 26 Apr. 2009 12:57 AM IST
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Much to the relief of the denizens of the state capital, the Kohima Chamber of Commerce (KCCI) called off its indefinite closure of shops on Saturday in the afternoon. The KCCI informed that the decision was taken following the intervention and assurance given by state home minister Imkong L Imchen and an appeal made by the Angami Women’s Organisation (AWO). KCCI delegation was learnt to have met Imchen last evening and again today at 10 am at the latter’s official quarter. KCCI said its delegation had a series of meetings with the district administration without making any headway. According to a press release issued jointly by its president, Khriehuzo Lohe and K. Chris Kire, the KCCI submitted a memorandum to the home minister in the presence of the DGP and commissioner & secretary to chief minister and that the government agreed to fulfill its demands. Some of the prominent demands of the KCCI included: no bail to be granted to the perpetrators of the brutal murder and an exemplary punishment to be given befitting that of a murderer. It demanded that the Government ensure that the investigating agency expedite and carry out a thorough and correct investigation which should be acceptable to the court of law without any technical flaws so as to ensure that the suspects/culprits were convicted. The KCCI also demanded formation of a new strategic security structure to provide immediate safety on the life of the business community before the situation worsened and jungle rule to be instated where businessmen and traders were killed on regular basis and criminals roam free. The KCCI observed that even during situations like the killing of Pradeep Prasad, the police personnel and officers were on VVIP duty and termed it as “infuriating!” It therefore demanded more manpower to be deployed and depute them to respective police stations. Kohima being the state capital, the Chamber demanded a separate force to be made available for civil cases only so as to expedite justice. It further demanded that the government authorities demonstrate their commitment to tackling the Prasad’s killing issue at the earliest and the crime committed against businessmen be recorded as a separate statistic since crime against them appeared to be escalating. The Chamber said the state government should initiate in creating a platform for the investigation agency, district administration, judiciary and the KCCI at an early date to ease out the bottlenecks in delivering justice. The KCCI said the home minister had inspired a sense of confidence in the business community who told them, “tell your members that I accept this Memorandum as my Memorandum.” Talking to Nagaland Post, Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen said that the KCCI had expressed serious objection to the prevailing system of functioning of the executive and judiciary. As soon as the culprits are forwarded to the court after arresting them by the police, they are released on bail by the court, Imchen said and added, “which I really appreciate and it is frustrating as well.” “The general impression is that the court believes in the principle that unless one is proved guilty, he or she is innocent, and it is the police who are at the receiving end every time,” the minister said. He felt that the court should also look into the consideration of the public cry for justice in sensitive cases. Meanwhile, the KCCI has the gratitude for the various organisations for their support and the general public for bearing with the inconveniences and standing them. Asserting that it would resort to any action as deemed fit with regard the Prasad’s killing case, the requested all civil bodies to stand by them. The KCCI has also condemned the recent looting of a businessman from Midland area Kohima, who was robbed of Rs. 32 lakhs. Kohima wore a deserted look with very thin traffic since yesterday till afternoon today following the indefinite closure of all business establishments called by the KCCI in protest against the abduction and subsequent killing of one of its members late Pradeep Prasad by unknown person. However, normalcy was restored slowly in the state capital following the KCCI decision to relax the closure of shop by mid day and the business started resuming slowly as the word spread out. Earlier, the KCCI protest had badly affected the general public not only because of the closure of shops but also the petrol pump sending the general public in a tizzy as their vehicles ran out of fuel. With all the petrol pumps remaining closed in Kohima, both private and government owned vehicles were reportedly seen lined up at the petrol pump at Police Reserve to fill their tank. Several picked, detained Activating the ongoing investigation into the abduction and subsequent murder of businessman Pradeep Prasad, police had reportedly picked up and detained several persons including a woman since yesterday evening for questioning. According to sources, at least nine persons mostly non-locals were picked up by the police in connection with the murder case. Among those suspects included a woman who was picked up along with her husband. Later, some were released after recording their statements. Though the police is yet to crack the case, it was learnt that the ongoing investigation has brought out the rough sketch of the likely sequence of the incident and was hopeful of making some major breakthrough soon. Police source also revealed that so far police was working on different possible theories on the reason behind the murder including that of business rivalry. Moreover, the source also did not rule out the possibility of the involvement of some underground cadres. NSCN/GPRN condemns The NSCN/GPRN Saturday while condemning the abduction and “brutal murder” of businessman, Pradeep Prasad, said it would leave no stone unturned to bring the culprit to justice. Informing this in a press statement, ‘Major’ Shikaho Kiho, NSCN/GPRN said that on April 20, on getting information about four persons moving in a black Maruti Alto (NL-01C-8617) with arms and threatening businessmen around Kohima town they chased the vehicle and apprehended two occupants near A.G office compound and seized the vehicle along with one .32 pistol, while two managed to escape. NSCN/GPRN said on interrogation, the duo confessed that they belonged to NNC, however, denied involvement in the kidnapping of Pradeep Prasad. It stated that after thorough inquiry of two apprehended NNC activists, they were handed over to Northern Angami Public Organisation (NAPO) president and general secretary on April 24 at around 8 p.m. NSCN/GPRN said they had conveyed to NAPO representatives that it would co-operate with the investigating authorities and the district administration to trace those involved in the “barbaric and inhuman” torture and subsequent murder of the businessman. NSCN/GPRN, with regard to this, has also sought cooperation from the citizens and business community in Kohima to root out the menace of extortion and “merciless” killing of the innocent. Meanwhile, NSCN/GPRN has also informed the rightful owner of the seized Maruti Alto to claim the vehicle from its Kohima town urban command with proper and valid documents.

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