Nagaland Rally against ‘unfair taxation’

DIMAPUR, –  A public awareness rally against extortion and ‘taxation’ by several militant Naga outfits will be held in Dimapur today, October 31.

Even as forces engaged to hijack the mass campaign against unabated taxation and illegal collections in Nagaland struck twice within the last 24 hours to destroy at least 20-30 banners/flexes hung around the Clock Tower here on which more than 10,000 supporters had appended their names and signatures, the Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) today asserted that the proposed Public Awareness Rally in Dimapur on October 31 would be held as per schedule.

The ACAUT reasoned that the “cry of the common man is undeniable” while requesting the NSCN (IM) to extend cooperation to the rally.

Some members of ACAUT, through social media, have blamed the twin act of vandalism on “anti-Naga elements.”

On Wednesday, “anti-Naga elements” were reported to have destroyed the new banners/flexes put up in the place, they said. Their identity still remains a mystery.

The NSCN (IM) had decided to disallow the ACAUT rally and warned that it would initiate further necessary steps or measures to obstruct such anti-national designs to murder the long struggle for the national cause.

Following the incidents, Dimapur district administration and police have deployed security forces around the Clock Tower area. SP Dimapur VZ Angami assured that security would be provided during the rally on October 31. “We live in a democratic country and all of us have our rights. So, yes, we will give security during the rally,” he said.

The ACAUT on Wednesday issued a clarification to the NSCN (IM) stating it was not against the Naga political solution or against the Naga movement. It also said it is not opposed to any of the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) nor is it against any organisation and individual.”

“Unabated taxation is affecting every strata of society and consequently the emotional appeal of the Naga movement for sovereignty is being undermined. ACAUT has done nothing but appeal to the leaderships of the NPGs to rein in wayward cadres and put its house in order,” the statement said.

It pointed out that the August 30 memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had asked the State Government “to set its house in order.” The State Government’s “refusal to acknowledge” the same has forced the ACAUT to go ahead with its programme on October 31, the statement said.

In a separate press release, the ACAUT appealed to all the educational institutions in Dimapur to close down on October 31 to show solidarity to the Public Awareness Rally and also enable the students to attend the rally.

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