NEW DELHI: Five days after the Centre held inconclusive peace talks with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the Nagaland government on Thursday issued strict orders to the police and security forces to crack the whip on extortion rackets in the state.
According to a May 19 Nagaland government notification, a copy of which is in the possession of this newspaper, “despite several directives in the past to curb illegal collection of money from vehicles on the roads, reports continue to be received that there has been no let-up in the menace indulged in by organisations, groups, government agencies, private individuals, etc.”
The notification appears to be an outcome of the deliberations that Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy CM Yanthungo Patton and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman T R Zeliang held with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on May 18.
“This is a direct result of negative reports that the political leadership, both at the Centre and in Nagaland have been steadily receiving, for months, that ordinary citizens having born the brunt of extortionist practices by insurgent outfits who are otherwise involved in peace talks with the central government’s interlocutor A K Mishra,” a senior Nagaland government official told this newspaper.
The notification, issued by Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam, lists more than a dozen steps. First, all police check gates, except the existing interstate check gates shall be closed forthwith. Secondly, the check gates set up by other departments “shall also be immediately closed, except interstate checkgates which may function till May 31”. However, “beyond that date, they shall function only after obtaining a specific
approval of the Home Department”.