NIA arrests 4 govt officers in Nagaland for allegedly funding militants | india news | Hindustan Times
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NIA arrests 4 govt officers in Nagaland for allegedly funding militants

The NIA investigation into terror funding in Nagaland began after the Assam Rifles caught a senior member of the NSCN-K, identified as Khetoshe Sumi, in Dimapur on July 31 last year.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2017 19:43 IST
Rahul Karmakar
An army vehicle that was ambushed on the Pengeri-Digboi road near the Pengeri reserve forest in Assam's Tinsukia district by suspected ULFA (I) and NSCN-K militants in November 2016.
An army vehicle that was ambushed on the Pengeri-Digboi road near the Pengeri reserve forest in Assam's Tinsukia district by suspected ULFA (I) and NSCN-K militants in November 2016.(PTI File Photo)

The National Investigation Agency on Friday arrested four Nagaland government officers for allegedly diverting funds to militants, specifically the outlawed National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).

The four were arrested under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Drugs and Cosmetics Act besides a section of Indian Penal Code related to extortion.

“We arrested former tourism director Purakhu Angami, additional director of agriculture V Aza, joint director of irrigation Hutoi Sema and fisheries superintendent Kekhriesatuo Tep in compliance with an order of the home ministry on August 17 last year,” said Jasveer Singh, NIA’s deputy superintendent of police.

They were produced before a special NIA court in Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, for their police custody.

The NIA investigation into terror funding in Nagaland began after the Assam Rifles caught a senior member of the NSCN-K, identified as Khetoshe Sumi, in Dimapur on July 31 last year.

Sumi was said to be in charge of raising funds for the outfit in Kohima and Dimapur regions through illegal taxation of government departments and had reportedly revealed the existence of a financial nexus.

The NSCN-K had renewed its war against the Indian union after junking a 14-year-old ceasefire in March 2015.

Based on Sumi’s confession, the NIA had on January 18 this year conducted a series of raids in various departments of the Nagaland government and reportedly found several documents suggesting that state funds were transferred to NSCN-K and other militant groups.

Naga militant groups collect what they call “revolutionary revenue” by taxing government and private sector employees, traders and commercial establishments besides imposing house and farm taxes. A pointsman is reportedly chosen in every department – including the police – for deducting up to 25% of an employee’s annual pay as tax to the rebel outfits.

Tribes native to Nagaland are otherwise exempt from paying income tax to the government.

Funds for beneficiary schemes and development projects are also allegedly diverted to the kitty of the outfits.

In an unrelated development, security officials arrested two rebels of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)’s Songbijit faction from Assam’s Udalguri district. The two – identified as John Mushahary and Joram Daimary – had been declared most wanted by NIA.

Police said the two were allegedly involved in the massacre of 76 Adivasis in December 2014 and January 2015.