Kohima, Dec. 5: Police and public are worried that extortion and abduction may soar this month as December is a festive season and an ideal time for militants and criminals to unleash terror.
This is the month when militants and criminals carry out kidnapping, abduction, ransom, theft and extortion but the authorities have remained helpless in the face of the hue and cry from all sections of society.
Despite appeals from civil societies, business organisations there have not seen any relief, especially in and around the commercial hub of Nagaland — Dimapur, Kohima — and other major towns in the state.
Dimapur is a hotbed of militants and criminal elements. There were reports of highway robberies by gunmen in several places, particularly on NH29 between Dimapur and Kohima even though there is a highway patrol by police to curb robberies on the highway, a lifeline for Manipur.
The Nagaland government has advised people not to travel at night whereas militant groups have banned collections by their cadres. However, this has not served the purpose as cadres continue to extort money from the people and travellers.
The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) have already banned all forms of collections by their cadres throughout Naga-inhabited areas and warned of severe punishment but this has not deterred their cadres from indulging in such activities. Both the militant groups have asked people to contact the top leaders of the groups if there were cases of forced collection or extortion by the cadres.
NSCN (K-K) said there were reports of criminals and ex-militants creating havoc among the business community, seeking and demanding donations. The outfit warned that it would impose befitting punishment on anyone indulging in such collection.
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio said insurgency has become the most lucrative industry in the state and the Northeast.
December is also the month for donations by various groups for different purposes.
The Nagaland Hotel Owners’ Union has decided not to pay any tax or collection by militants and criminal elements during the festive season.
Militants target December as tourists throng the state to see the grandeur of Nagaland.
Currently there are thousands of foreign and domestic tourists participating in the ongoing Hornbill Festival at Naga heritage village Kisama, 12km from here.
Security has been beefed up in Kohima and Dimapur to check subversive activities.
A number of youths have also been engaged as volunteers by the authorities to ward off any threat to the festival.