A file Photo of NPF Central HQ, Kohima, (Photo Courtesy – npfweb.org)
DIMAPUR, MARCH 4 (MExN): The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has censured the “outrageous and unsubstantiated claims” made in an article published by an online news portal Swarajyamag.com under the caption “NIA’s Naga Terror-Funding Probe Reveals Insidious Role Of Top Bureaucrats, Politicians and Church Elder” portraying the church, bureaucrats and the NPF party and its leaders as funding a proscribed outfit.
The article written by one Jaideep Mazumdar quoted unnamed officials of the NIA as having found that NPF leader TR Zeliang was personally involved in what the author said “collection of taxes on behalf of the NSCN (K).”
A press release issued by the NPF Press Bureau on Wednesday said such statement is simply intolerable since the author of the said article has attempted to charge-sheet an innocent even before investigations are concluded.
The NPF stated that the author also had the “temerity to claim that the alleged close links Zeliang had with the NSCN (K) was the reason behind the BJP breaking its alliance with the NPF and joining hands with the NDPP,” which only goes to show the ignorance of the author about the political ground realities in Nagaland in the run up to the Elections in February 27 last.
The NPF also termed it as most loathsome and reprehensible that the author and the news portal made a “clumsy attempt to polarize the society and nation on cultural and religious lines by casting aspersions on the Churches in Nagaland as involved in collecting taxes for proscribed outfits and pocketing hefty amounts for evangelization.”
“This is a ridiculous allegation and would have been most amusing if not for the gravity of the claim. This is as absurd as to claim that all tribals are insurgents; all Muslims are terrorists; all Hindus are right-wing fundamentalists,” the NPF statement said.
It advised the author to do some research on the active role of the church in Nagaland to bring together the various groups to the negotiating table with the Government of India and the tireless efforts of the church all these decades to bring peace and normalcy in these parts of the country.
“The fact that a news portal could have such a poorly informed person as its Associate Editor, and the fact that the news portal publishes such outlandish articles, speaks volumes about the intellectual poverty of the news group,” the NPF statement read.
NSCN K condemns ‘outlandish’ attack against the church
NSCN (K)’s MIP Dy. Kilonser, Col (Retd.) Isak Sumi stated in a press release issued today that “It is appalling to witness that, instead of allowing the wounds to heal, the Government of India (GoI) by allowing the NIA to outlandishly attack even the Naga Christian Churches of extortion and criminal collaboration is forcing the festering of the old wound.”
Accusing the Agency of attempting to “scuttle the Indo-Naga political processes and to completely downtrod the Naga cause,” the NSCN (K) press statement noted that “making open criminal insinuations against the Churches and the Church leaders” has brought back “the horrifying memories of the past.”
Noting that the investigation agency is now being used as a “double edged sword of political vendetta,” the NSCN (K) stated that it is a “testing time for all the believers in Christ to demonstrate resilience and firmly uphold our faith by standing up to evil forces threatening our very belief and existence.”