Three Nagaland govt officials held for collecting money for banned NSCN

Three Nagaland govt officials held for collecting money for banned NSCN
Three Nagaland government officials, including a woman Joint Director, have been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on charges of handing over public fund to the banned NSCN(Khaplang).

Joint Director in Social Welfare Department Tulula Pongen, Joint Director in Department of Land Resources Alienba Pangjung Jamir and Cashier in Department of Land Resources K Lashito Sheqi were arrested on Tuesday in Kohima following investigations into a case registered by the NIA in August last year.

The accused were produced in the Special NIA Court in Dimapur. The court granted five days police remand for Jamir and Sheqi while Pongen was sent to hospital, as she has reported sick.

After taking over the case from state police, the NIA was investigating the charges of "large scale extortion and illegal tax collection" by NSCN (K) from various government organisations and others by cadres of NSCN (K) in Dimapur and Kohima. The investigators claimed it was carried out under the direction of self-styled Brigadier Isac Sumi of NSCN (K) and other senior leaders.

Those arrested "in their official capacity provided substantial amount to NSCN (K) by way of contributing government funds to the banned outfit, thereby supporting NSCN (K) in furtherance of its unlawful activities", the NIA said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The government officers were arrested on the basis of their alleged involvement in paying huge amount of money to various UG factions such as NSCN (K), NSCN (R), FGN, NNC and others," it said.

This came to light during the scrutiny of 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, it said.

Earlier, two NSCN(K) cadres S Khetoshe Sumi and Victo Swu were arrested in this case. The documents seized from the accused and their interrogation revealed the involvement of the government officers in paying large sum of money to the tune of crores of rupees to various underground factions.

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