Government

NIA Arrests Four Nagaland Government Officers for Diverting Funds to Banned Outfit

In September 2015, the Union home ministry had declared the NSCN(K) a banned outfit for five years after it broke the ceasefire agreement with the central government.

According to the NIA, the officials were also involved in paying “huge amount of money” not only to NSCN(K) but also to other underground outfits. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: For the second time this year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Nagaland government officials on the charge of siphoning off government money to fund the banned armed group Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Khaplang.

A press note released by the NIA’s Guwahati office on October 13 accused Purakhu Angami, former director of tourism, V. Aza, additional director of agriculture, Hutoi Sema, joint director of irrigation and Kekhriesatuo Tep, superintendent-cum-cashier of the fisheries department of collecting unlawful “tax” to fund the NSCN(K). With this arrest, the number of state government officials arrested by the NIA on the charge has gone up to seven this year. In April this year, three other government officials, all in the rank of joint directors in different departments, were also arrested on the charge of funding NSCN(K) with government money.

Those arrested on October 13 were charged under Section 384 of IPC and Sections 10,13,17 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, read with Sections 7 and 8 of the Nagaland Security Regulation, Section 25 (1B) of the Arms Act and Section 13 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The NIA has sent a letter to the state chief secretary seeking departmental action against the officials.

According to the NIA, the officials were also involved in paying “huge amount of money” not only to NSCN(K) but also to other underground outfits, like the NSCN(R), the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) and the  Naga National Council (NNC) between 2012 and 2016. “The allegations were revealed during scrutiny of official documents, including demand letters and payment receipts which were seized during the search operation carried out by the NIA in 13 government offices on January 18, 2017,” the note said. The search operations were carried out as part of a case registered in August 2016 related to large-scale unlawful “tax” collection on behalf of the NSCN(K). Those arrested in April were also in relation to this case.

All those arrested were produced before a special NIA court in Dimapur which sent them to police remand for three days.

Though NSCN(K) is yet to react to the fresh arrests, it issued a statement following the April arrests calling it “a desperate attempt to veil off it’s (NIA’s) frustration and failure to stem the Naga struggle and to coerce the patriotic  and freedom-loving Nagas to abstain from performing one’s obligations towards national cause.”

In September 2015, the Union home ministry declared the NSCN(K) a banned outfit for five years after it broke the ceasefire agreement with the central government. In June 2015, the outfit carried out a deadly ambush in Manipur in which 18 Army personnel were killed.