Police lament hurdles against extortion

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, SEP 24 ( NPN) | Publish Date: 9/24/2019 12:01:31 PM IST

Pushed on the back foot after the PAC’s week-long drive against rampant illegal gate collections in Dimapur, Police said low conviction rates and unwilling among witnesses to testify were the biggest hurdles to the fight against illegal collection and extortion. 

Addressing a press briefing held at his office, Commissioner of Police Dimapur, Limasunup Jamir disclosed that police have tackling those involved in the offence that have pushed led to upward spiral of prices of various commodities such as unions, organisations and the Naga National Political Groups(NNPGs) 

The Commissioner of Police held various NNPG factions for “unscrupulously and blatantly” involving in forcible collections under the cover of ceasefire rules, including the card holders. 

“The degeneration into abject criminality is evident and the matter should be raised immediately with the Police Headquarters and the chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group,” Jamir said while lauding the police for undertaking a relentless job to prevent and arrest those involved during the past three years. 

Jamir cited data to buttress his claim such as the record in 2017 where 92 cases of extortion cases were registered against 137 extortionists were arrested. In 2018 a total 137 cases registered and 207 extortionist were nabbed. 

Again, in 2019 (till date), he said 109 cases were registered against 157 extortionists arrested. 

He said that in 2017, cash recovered from illegal collectors amounted to of Rs 1, 42,000 was recovered; in 2018 Rs 9,05,000 was recovered; while in 2019 Rs 17,51,000 was recovered. 

Jamir pointed out that 90 percent of the cases registered in the last three years have been made suo moto where the police apprehended and registered the cases themselves. Those apprehended were mainly members of several underground factions, middle man, civilians and over ground sympathizers. 

He also hinted at the nexus between transporters and the various NNPGs in which the latter got their share and the transporters hiking the charges exponentially for profits while the public has to bear the cost. Another system that has only aggravated the menace of extortion according to Jamir was the lease system.

 Jamir also informed that the police has pressed into action various agencies/ units, namely; Anti Extortion Team 1 and 2, Special Operating Team, a special branch of the Police Commissionerate, 8 mobile units and e-patrolling units. He also revealed that the police have a “robust and durable surveillance systems placed at 25 strategic points where extortion activities are likely to take place.” 

Jamir also disclosed to media persons that he has reached out to the SP in Karbi Anglong to coordinate and eliminate illegal taxation in the “no-man” zone along the Dimapur –Karbi Anglong Border. 

While the Jamir lauded the efforts of the PAC in bringing to light the ugly and rampant extortion and illegal taxation in different check gates bordering Dimapur, he also admitted that the present law was insufficient to deal with extortion. 

He said any specialized laws that empowers the police would be welcomed citing the MCOCA Act in Maharashtra as an example. 

Also speaking at the press briefing, ADCP ( Crime) Relo T Aye said that any organization not authorised to collect fees by the government will be banned and the police will act sternly.

 Aye further also disclosed the involvement of civilians in extortion. He said during the last few years, involvement of NNPGs cadres on the ground has significantly reduced as the they have outsourced collections to others. He said there were also instances of an extortionist collecting money not only for one faction but various other factions or even organizations. He said there are also instances of extortionists posing as NNPG members. 

Aye disclosed that In 2017, out of the 139 extortionists apprehended, 78 were civilians; in 2018, out of 203 extortionists nabbed, 134 were civilians; in 2019, out of 157 extortionists nabbed, 95 were civilians. 

On conviction rate, he said 27 were convicted in 2017 and 61 cases pending. In 2018, he said 29 were convicted and 113 cases were pending. In 2019, he said 17 were convicted and 71 cases were pending. The quantum of punishment ranges from 6 months to a year, Relo T Aye stated. 

Also present at the press conference were Zone 1 DCP Naieem Mustafa and Zone 2 DCP Aotula T Imchen. Both Naieem and Aotula lamented the unwillingness of witnesses to testify in the court of law while victims were also afraid to report on extortions. DCP Zone 2 Aotula informed of the presence of police personnel in civvies and appealed for independent witnesses in the court of law. Naieem also appealed to the public to confide in the police and to fight the menace together. 

Commissioner of Police Limasunp Jamir appealed to various CSOs and stakeholders to be “mindful of the reasonable restriction clause of constitutional and statutory law” and warned against “ heightened vigilantism that can degenerate to the rule of the mob and cause public disorder.” 



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