5 NTPRADAO execs arrested for issuing threat to legislators

Charged of criminal intimidation, conspiracy to commit crime and threat to destroy govt property

Dimapur, July 15 (MExN): The Dimapur police have arrested 5 individuals associated with a recently floated organisation, which had threatened to torch the residents of legislators, if the Nagaland state government succumbs to pressure for supporting the controversial Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill. 

The Dimapur police informed of the development through a press release on July 15. It revealed the names of the five individuals, who included, Michael Tungoe (President), Ikato Zhimomi (General Secretary-Public Policy), Albert Kire (General Secretary), Temjen Mar Ao, State Executive Member and Hayithung T Lotha (Chief Advisor). 

The formation of the body in question— Nagaland Transparency, Public Rights Advocacy & Direct Action Org (NTPRADAO), was announced on May 31, this year. It claimed to represent the entire state with the central idea of streamlining and acting as a “Connecting hub and solid bridge” for the underprivileged, downtrodden and marginalised sections of Nagaland’s society.” 

A week later, the NTPRADAO alleged financial irregularities in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) in Nagaland and demanded an SIT investigation into the matter. It backed up the allegation by citing information sourced via the RTI Act. This was denied by the Nagaland State Village Development Board Association (NSVDBA) and Nagaland Rural Development Department in separate statements. 

It followed up with another statement on June 29, but, this time, it was related to the UCC. The strongly worded statement maintained that implementing the UCC would be “ultra vires” to the Constitutional right to freedom of religion. 

The release from the police said that it took cognizance of what it said was an unregistered organization— NTPRADAO, “threatening to storm and attack each of the 60 legislators’ official quarters and burn it down to ashes, along with its three thousand plus members from all over 16 districts of Nagaland, if the 14th NLA succumbs to outside forces and passes a bill in support of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which was signed and circulated on several social media platforms on 29/06/2023.” 

It did not specify when the 5 individuals were arrested while only implying that the arrests were based on a case registered at the East Police Station, Dimapur.  The charges against the arrested individuals included criminal intimidation, conspiracy to commit crimes against the legislators and threatening to destroy government property with the intent to provoke a breach of peace. 

It added, “Further investigation is on to unearth the mala fide intention and book the persons involved in the crime.”

The police declined to disclose further details stating that information would be updated as the investigation progresses.