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Govt working to root out extortion: Imchen
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUN 24 (NPN):
Published on 25 Jun. 2009 12:47 AM IST
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Nagaland home minister, Imkong L. Imchen said he suspected a “mafia like” syndicate was involved in extortions and operating in and around Dimapur which has to be cracked. Briefing media persons in his office here Wednesday, Imkong assured that the state government was making all efforts to root out the menace of extortion with the support of civil societies. However, he said this cannot be achieved overnight. Imkong asserted that the people of Nagaland were “definitely” working in unison to root out the evil of extortion and expressed the hope it would result in a better society. He also admitted that there were various loopholes in the government channels where several departments including the state police were collecting cash as ‘tax’ at various check gates which he said, was illegal. Imkong also asked people to compare the situation in the state before and after the year 2008 which had undergone a great change. He said earlier, people used to be afraid of speaking out against underground groups but today, many people and organizations were speaking out openly adding, it was a good sign. Imchen said he supported the points raised by the striking truckers association of Assam against excessive, illegal tax and extortion in Dimapur and termed the protest as “a positive sign as illegal activities had gone beyond tolerable limits”. Drawing attention to the attack on his statement on treating arrested Naga underground activists as political prisoners and not as other criminals, Imchen said the Congress’ reaction was understandable and the demand for his resignation was also natural since it was the opposition language. He clarified that he was not encouraging or condoning criminal activities by Naga underground activists when he made the statement. Imchen said those underground activists arrested or to be arrested on charges of committing crime have to be dealt with as per the law. He said all political parties including the civil societies,NGOs and citizens longed for political settlement of the vexed ‘Indo-Naga’ so that Nagas can have a civilized and disciplined society. After supporting the Naga national struggle for the past six decades and now equating the arrested Naga national workers with other criminals would be a double standard on the part of the Naga, he said. Imchen asserted that there were “so many good leaders” in the Naga underground groups who were against such criminal activities of their own cadres and said they should be appreciated.

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