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Nagaland: Former CM Zeliang under NIA radar in extortion case

13 March 2018

Now, the name of former Chief Minister TR Zeliang has surfaced in the matter and NIA has summoned the leader of NPF to present himself before the NIA officials in the national capital on March 13 for helping the agency in further probing the matter.

Meanwhile, a communiqué issued by Zeliang's press secretary (PS), stated that the NIA notice was received by fax at the CMO, 15 minutes past midnight on Monday and the second was again again sent through the same fax number at 10:05 am the same day.

In 2016, the NIA had registered a case to probe allegations of large scale extortion and illegal tax collection on behalf of the banned terrorist organization NSCN (K) from various government organizations and others by the outfit's cadres in Dimapur and Kohima. TOI exclusively accessed the copy of the summon sent to Zeliang.

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The notice sent to Zeliang has asked him to reach NIA headquarters at 10 am, "along with documents relevant to the payments received from the government departments for the objective of answering certain questions relating to investigation of the instant case". Earlier, NIA had arrested four Nagaland government officers last year and it was revealed that the banned insurgent group NSCN (K) was given around Rs 20 crore in just four years by the officers by sharing with the outfit funds from the state exchequer and the "illegal tax collection" racket.

NIA had questioned Ruokuovizo Chupno, OSD to Zeliang, and two public relations officers.

The three officers, as law abiding citizens of India, complied and appeared before the NIA Officer concerned at the Guwahati NIA Branch Office. In an official statement, the agency had said, "These seizures prima facie indicate the connivance of these government organisations in funding various underground organisations operating in Nagaland". It said after few days of questioning, they were let off and it appeared that the case against them was settled.

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The case pertains to alleged extortion by groups such as NSCN (K), NSCN (IM) and Naga National Council from at least 14 government departments.

Given the suspicious circumstances, the NPF posed three questions- On what urgency that a summon letter has to be dispatched at 00:15 hrs; given the fact that the first session of the 13th Assembly is slated for March 13, couldn't the NIA wait another day?

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Nagaland: Former CM Zeliang under NIA radar in extortion case