Editorial

Burning issues

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/11/2018 12:29:43 PM IST

 Monday’s 12-hour Dimapur bandh had disrupted normal life in the district and also affected other parts of the state mainly because Dimapur city happens to be a vital commercial nerve centre of the state. Thus, if Dimapur suffers, the rest of Nagaland too suffer. The bandh was called by the Public Action Committee(PAC) of the Naga Council Dimapur(NCD) to register protest on two counts- the November 20 firing incident at a showroom of a motorcycle dealer and the rampant extortion, syndication of the market and kidnappings. PAC served an ultimatum on November 21, giving the authorities/police seven days to catch the culprits and threatened to impose a 12-hour bandh on November 30 in case of failure to do so. PAC in the statement, also demanded the enactment of a law similar to Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in order to tackle serious crimes such as extortion, muscling on trade through syndication of the entire market and spate of kidnap for ransom etc by armed elements and organisations. On November 27, PAC called off the proposed bandh after police nabbed some suspects in the case. However, PAC decided to revive its ultimatum on December 1, to impose the bandh on December 7, asking the police nab the main suspects. It believed, that police were not pursuing the case to nab the main culprits, beyond arrest of the suspects. In lieu of the setting up of the Special Investigation Team(SIT), PAC on December 5 expressed gratitude and extended the deadline for the bandh from December 7 to December 10 for the authorities to nab the main culprits within the period. The police could not nab the main suspects as demanded and so the 12-hour bandh took effect on December 10. A bandh may be a tool against authorities and an effective way too especially how bandhs are being enforced. Much has been written about the illegality and unconstitutionality of bandhs even if they are understood as “democratic forms of expressions.” First, the issue of extortion, then syndication of market and kidnapping have been around for too long, especially in Dimapur. These crimes could not be dealt with under ordinary IPC law as in the case with Maharashtra which is known for its infamous mafia dons, extortion, kidnapping and contract killings. Under IPC, a kidnapper can be imprisoned for a maximum of seven years and an extortionist for a maximum of three years. Bail is given on application under IPC. Under MCOCA, any one involved in organised crime(extortion, kidnap and syndicate) gets life imprisonment with huge fines. Even those harbouring criminals face life imprisonment and their properties can be seized. To ward off any possibility of criminals evading arrest, MCOCA has eliminated the provision of anticipatory bail. The court is empowered to grant bail to the accused if it finds no reasons to establish his or her complicity. The issues as raised by PAC and others cannot be tackled by police. Politicians have to commit themselves to given necessary tools and training to make police work effectively and independently. Also enactment of stringent laws are needed to stem the rot that is sweeping across society otherwise the future is doomed . Over and above, it is time for Nagas to look at these issues very closely and with an open mind and arrive at a more reformist-social ideology.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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