Volunteers to keep a tab on illegal monetary collection at check-posts
Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 15
The Public Action Committee (PAC) of the Naga Council, Dimapur described its latest initiative to check illegal taxation as a “people’s movement” that has no intention whatsoever to take the law in “our own hands.”
PAC Convenor, Vekhosayi Nyekha told a media conference today that the sole intention to deploy volunteers at the government check-posts has been to curb extra constitutional taxation or illegal monetary collection by entities including state government agencies, Naga Political Groups and unions. Illegal taxation at the check-posts targeting commercial carriers has had a cascading effect in the state’s economy with prices increasing abnormally putting a heavy burden on consumers.
“The PAC is not against the Nagaland Political Groups or the state government. This should not be politicized. The Committee only stands for one government, one tax,” said Nyekha.
The move to deploy civilian volunteers at the check-posts in Dimapur begins on September 16 and will continue till September 21.
According to Nyekha, the volunteers’ only job will be to keep a tab on any illegal collection of money and reporting it. He added that their job will not come in the way of the routine duties of the police and the various government toll booths authorized to collect royalty or revenue.
While urging all government agencies to stick to only what they have been assigned to do, he also asked other groups, including transport unions to put a stop to collection of money at the check-posts. He further asked transporters from entertaining any monetary demand other than those authorized by the state government.
Asked what if the illegal tax collectors change location during the 6 days, Nyekha said that the PAC will respond accordingly.
He further appealed the Indo-Naga talks interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi to seriously take up the issue of illegal collection with the NPGs. He said that the guidelines of the Ceasefire with the various NPGs should be implemented in letter and spirit.
While appreciating the effort of the police to curb extortion in Dimapur, he said that the state government should seriously consider enacting stringent law to curb the menace of illegal taxation, which has turned into a well organised system, styled on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. He pointed to extortionists getting arrested but who eventually go on to obtain bail. He felt that this can be checked if the state has a stringent law against organised extortion.