• A damning article in Swarajya Magazine claims the church collects money on behalf of ‘terror outfits’ and routes the amount collected to them
• Army terms all claims in article ‘incorrect ‘
Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 3
A news report published by Swarajya magazine has now indicted the Church in Nagaland of “terror funding.”
“The church collects money on behalf of the terror outfits and routes the amount collected to them, but also benefits from the extortion since it gets to retain a part of the sum collected for its activities, including evangelization,” reportedly said an “Army officer on deputation to the Assam Rifles and posted at the Assam Rifles (North) headquarters in Kohima,” to Swarajya Magazine in an article titled ‘NIA’s Naga Terror-Funding Probe Reveals Insidious Role Of Top Bureaucrats, Politicians And Church Elders’ on April 2.
The unnamed officer allegedly made this claim to Swarajya’s Associate Editor, Jaideep Mazumdar. A right-wing magazine, Swarajya has implicated the Church in Nagaland before of “diabolic conspiracy” against the ruling Saffron Party.
In its latest piece, the magazine states that “Documents seized over the decades by security and investigative agencies, including the Army, show the involvement of even the Christian church in this widespread extortion racket.” The piece does not specify the nature of these ‘documents’ or how they were accessed.
The Spear Corps of the Indian Army refuted having made these claims. “It is clarified that no such information was provided to Mr. Mazumdar or anyone else. All such claims in the said article are incorrect,” stated Col. Ajit Yeole of the Spear Corps in a statement to The Morung Express.
Swarajya’s Associate Editor, stated, “The church in Nagaland is a powerful entity and has very strong and intimate links with the terror outfits. Church groups campaign for the outfits and often act at their behest.”
Meanwhile, even as the case is under investigation, the article quotes an ‘NIA officer’ as saying, “We suspect that the NSCN (K) wanted Zeliang to retain power since he is their man and they would have been able to grow stronger with him as the chief minister. The NSCN (K) thus asked the Baptist Church to launch a campaign against Zeliang’s opposition (the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP-NDPP combine, which won the polls nonetheless).”
Furthermore, the NIA, according to the magazine, has “revealed” its probe findings against universal investigation norms. “The NIA probe reportedly revealed that he was in close touch with the NSCN (K). A central intelligence agency endorsed this finding,” stated Swarajya magazine.
Which ‘central intelligence agency’? The article does not state.
“This, say many, was the reason behind the BJP breaking its alliance with Zeliang and the NPF and deciding to join hands with the newly-launched NDPP,” concluded the article.