Dimapur, July 12 (ANI): The government has decided to act tough against militant outfits, which collect funds through a variety of illegal means to meet their financial needs.
Extortion of money by militant outfits has left the business community in Nagaland infuriated and frustrated. They are now demanding an end to this practice followed by various factions of militant outfits, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM), which regularly extorts money from people and allegedly runs a parallel government.
On June 19, the Action Committee against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), under the aegis of the Naga Council, Dimapur, called for a 12-hour shutdown in Dimapur to protest against financial extortion that affects the business community and residents of the area.
"This is a cause for the interest of people and we will continue to fight in the right direction so that people will be benefited," said Ntsemo Ngullie, General Secretary, Naga Council, Dimapur.
"The public support which we are getting is very encouraging. We are happy that the public has come out in support of this bandh," added Machio, a student leader.
Sources reveal the NSCN (IM) has a budget of Rs 120 crore for the year 2013, which is a 10 percent increase from last year's budget. They illegally collect money from government servants and departments in Nagaland, Manipur and Assam, and at check gates, highways, and from unions and NGOs.
Taking a serious note of the issue, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has recently issued a directive to the Nagaland Government to stop the NSCN (IM) from levying tax on the common people as this is leading to a rise in price of commodities and cannot be allowed to continue.
In a hard-hitting letter to Nagaland Chief Secretary Alem Temshi Jamir, the Union Home Ministry said there has been a serious situation following NSCN-IM's declaration that every Naga as well as others residing in Naga dominated areas in the region shall pay tax.
The state governments have welcomed the Centre's tough stand.
"We want such activities to be (Transcription) "If something happens out there, beyond our boundary, we don't have any jurisdiction. That is the problem. That is why we keep on requesting the centre to intervene," said G. GAIKHANGAM, Deputy Chief Minister, Manipur
"So, I am very happy that the centre is kind enough to listen to our request and has advised the state government and the concerned parties not to indulge in such action. I think they should listen to that," he added.
Over the years, everyone has urged insurgent outfits in Nagaland to pay heed to the plight of the people, especially the marginalized section, who have to pay exorbitant taxes to various groups.
Such practices hamper economic growth and in the long run, the overall development of the state. (ANI)