When society becomes prey

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/21/2020 12:42:13 PM IST

 Since July 13,2020 LPG consumers in Kohima under the municipal areas have been deprived of refills after LPG distributors under the aegis of All Kohima Indane Distributors’ Association (AKIDA) closed down services in protest against two incidents of assaults on employees of distributors and demanding legal action against one miscreant arrested in the extortion case. For the record, no business enterprise (such as LPG distributors) would like to shut down business on frivolous grounds. AKIDA has been pushed to the brink by the unending and unabated multiple taxations and not to speak of the ‘threats, harassments’ that package the demand. AKIDA has said it would not have compelled it to shut down due to such but when it came to physical assault on employees, it was literally the last straw. As with every individual or associations in Nagaland, the only option is to go to the police and expect that the law will take its own course (thought not its own sweet time) to provide justice. For business persons and firms in Nagaland, their brush with extortionists has become a regular hazard. As with too many instances in Dimapur, which have been narrated and reported especially in the local media; extortion may be a thriving cottage industry but it is not merely about illegal transaction but how it inflicts deep mental trauma and sometimes even leading to fatal consequences. AKIDA has demanded that the culprit who was caught by some of the employees on July 4,2020 and later handed over to police, should be dealt with as per stringent sections of the law. The AKIDA case comes at a time when ‘Letter-gate’ (letter to chief minister from the Governor) continues to be a subject of intense public discourse. The crux of the ‘Letter-gate’  revolved around the ineffectual response of the state government in general and the police in particular, against forcible collections of ‘tax’. The issue raised by AKIDA- unabated and rampant taxation on business community- is scripted by the ‘taxation’ menace plaguing Nagaland. If the police is accused of soft-pedalling; it is because the state government has no practical solution; rather than sabre rattling. The message down the line and across the broad law and order apparatus is not unclear. Thus, the restrain that can also be interpreted as unwillingness to bell the cat, has left the law struggling to find a foothold. It is therefore, of little comfort that AKIDA and perhaps other business men or women are experiencing is un-enforcement. There have been many allegations made by several organisations in the past which reveal, that out of court or out of law settlement is a refrain. It is time that the state government treats crime as such instead of condoning it under specious pleas. NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie had in one of his statements, clearly amplified the need to differentiate between political from criminal. Unpunished crime only adds to insecurity of the law abiding citizens. It robs the coming generation of their future. Those who hold responsible positions need to clear their muddled thinking about what is and what is not condonable. Business enterprises continue to face the same problem as AKIDA. Many organisations such as NVCO, ACAUT Nagaland, AMK etc have echoed their deep apprehensions about the ‘predictable response’ of the law to the ‘predictable’ modus operandi of law breakers. People of the state can no longer be made to accept or accommodate every form of wrongdoing or injustice whether by constitutional or unconstitutional offenders.

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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