One government, one tax, says PAC
Dimapur, September 16: In what is seen as a direct indictment of the State’s failure to rein in illegal cash (money) collection by various organizations, including Naga political groups and State police among others, citizen volunteers under the aegis of Public Action Committee of the powerful Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) will be stationed for six days from Monday in the three major entry points into the State under Dimapur district – Dillai gate, New Field Checkgate and Burma Camp gate – to prevent anyone from imposing illegal tax from trucks entering Nagaland.
The State Government’s failure to check the rampant illegal cash collection in check gates can be understood from the fact that some State Government departments, particularly the State agency to control this menace, the Nagaland Police, is taking the lead in this illegal activity.
Convenor of Pubic Action Committee, Vekhosayi Nyekha told media persons today that volunteers wearing respective tribal attires will be stationed in all the 3 check gates from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. in the morning and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at night when commercial trucks enter the State.
The volunteers will not check vehicles but will only prevent vehicles from paying ‘illegal money’ to any state or non state actors, he said.
Nyekha clarified that deputing volunteers to man the three check gates is a people’s movement, as “people from all walks of life are tired and frustrated with the rampant tax collections by nefarious elements.”
“We are not here to criticize the government of the day. We have written to Governor RN Ravi, who is also the interlocutor of the Naga peace talks requesting him to rein in the NPGs who are in ceasefire with the Government of India. The Governor should do the needful. The NPGs should obey the ceasefire ground rules and regulations in letter and spirit. One tax and one government has been our stand since very long and we are standing for it,” he said.
Nyekha rued that extortionists arrested by police are given bail within the next few days, and demanded that bail should not be granted to them. “We have requested the government to enact a stringent law similar to the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA). Bail should not be granted to these people and they should be sentenced for six months or years, but very unfortunately they get released within a week or so,” he said.
On the PAC led six days picketing at all the three gates, he said, “It’s a six days programme from tomorrow till Saturday.
“We are not taking laws in our hands but will be assisting the law enforcement agencies to contain the menace of multiple taxations at all the check gates. We will not allow anyone to stop any vehicles and it will be under Dimapur district”.
He added: “Presently it is for six days; we may prolong it or reduce it as per the situations. Once all the vehicle moves freely we can assume that situation has been brought under control”.
Nyekha warned that departments and police personnel trying to collect taxes will be severely dealt with and paraded. “We have given many representations to the government and had conducted many meetings with the NPGs.”
He also warned that any transporters found conniving with extortionists will not be spared. “Be it NPGs, individuals or any organizations threatening the transporters will not be spared.”
Nyekha maintained that roads are for vehicles to ply and not to be used for collecting taxes. If union welfare fees have to be paid it can be paid at the office not by stopping the vehicle and collecting randomly, he said.
In all the three gates there will be nearly 250 volunteers, there will be respective gate in-charge and respective tribal leaders who will be assisting the administration, he informed. (Page News Service)