Rampant extortion by "anti-social elements" has created a sense of fear among business persons and inhibited entrepreneurship in Nagaland severely hampering development in the state, Governor R. N. Ravi said in his Republic Day speech on Tuesday.
"The state hasn’t seen any major eruption of law and order problem for some time. However, the menace of rampant extortions under the guise of illegal taxation by anti-social elements has not yet been fully curbed though police and security forces have been taking action against such elements. As a result, the state is not doing well on several development indicators," Ravi said soon after unfurling the National Flag at Kohima.
Ravi had earlier invited the anger of political parties and insurgent group NSCN-IM for his statement that illegal tax collection by some groups was still rampant.
Without taking the name of any organisation, Ravi on Tuesday said that some "extra-constitutional entities" in the guise of espousing the Naga national cause have queered the pitch for the people and the government and kept the peace and progress at bay. "The Government of India has taken several political initiatives for its enduring resolutions from time to time. The latest initiative since the last 24 years could not fructify as yet due to unrealistic intransigence of some people who are unwilling to forsake the politics by gun," he said.
Stating that the "politics by gun" has fragmented the Naga society, Ravi said in a democracy there is ample space for resolution of differences through peaceful dialogue but no space for politics by gun. "Those who believe in such a politics shall always remain outliers in a democracy."
"The unrealistic, self-destructive and divisive politics has exhausted the people of Nagaland. The primary stakeholders have made their positions abundantly clear that the era of the gun must end without further delay and enduring peace must be restored. They have made it clear that unresolved issues, if any, be pursued through dialogue post-settlement."