Kohima, Sept. 2: The Nagaland government today defended parliamentary secretary T. Torechu, whose vehicles were recently seized by the NSCN (I-M) for allegedly carrying Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
Torechu, who represents the Pungro-Kiphire Assembly constituency, is the parliamentary secretary for economics and statistics, excise, legal metrology and consumer protection.
A statement issued this evening by L. Singsit, special secretary to the state government, said the allegation levelled by the outfit was malicious and not as claimed. He denied that Torechu was transporting liquor or that a vehicle was seized from the convoy.
Singsit said an inquiry conducted by the government had found that on August 24 some criminals had tried to stop Torechuís convoy at three locations in Kiphire district, the last one at Thetezu junction near Kiphire. But the cadres had to flee after his bodyguards fired in the air.
The NSCN, however, claimed that they had seized three vehicles which were carrying IMFL and even demanded Torechu to come out with a statement.
The outfit alleged that Torechu was indulging in bootlegging and asked the people why such a person should be elected to represent them.
In the recent past too, police and security forces have intercepted vehicles belonging to politicians and VIPs for transporting IMFL.
Nagaland is a dry state but remains wet because of illegal smuggling of liquor, mostly adulterated, from Assam.