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Cong burns Imchen effigy

Kohima, Nov. 29: The Opposition Congress today organised a demonstration to demand the axing of tainted minister Imkong L. Imchen from the Neiphiu Rio cabinet.

Hundreds of Congress supporters, led by party president S.I. Jamir and CLP leader Tokheho Yepthomi, organised the demonstration at Nagaland civil secretariat. They demanded the sacking of Imchen who was arrested by the Assam Rifles on February 18 near Wokha town with seven unlicensed guns, Rs 1.1 crore, ammunition and IMFL.

The Congress also set fire to Imchen’s effigy at the entrance of state secretariat.

Imchen was earlier Nagaland home minister. He resigned the day he was caught and was arrested and released on interim bail. Recently, Wokha police chargesheeted him but chief minister Rio refused to drop him from the ministry with the CMO issuing a statement saying there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

The Congress had submitted representations to the state government and even met governor Ashwani Kumar and Speaker Chotisuh Sazo. Rio had refused to meet the Congress.

“Rio could not act because there is an outside force which is dictating to him,” a source said.

The Congress said it would call a 12-hour strike on December 3 if Imchen was not dropped.

If a person is caught with unlicensed arms, he can be prosecuted under the National Security Act (NSA). Carrying IMFL is illegal as Nagaland is a dry state. So is carrying money over Rs 8 lakh during the elections. Imchen was caught with the money on the eve of the Nagaland Assembly elections.

PCC president Jamir said the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government was not governing the state according to rules. He said his party would continue to demand Imchen’s resignation through democratic means of protests. “We shall not fail in our responsibility.”

Former minister K. Therie said Imchen has been chargesheeted and he should face the consequences.