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Speaker threat to RTI activist

Kohima, Dec. 4: A threat war is raging in Nagaland between the Speaker and the Congress.

Speaker Chotisuh Sazo has issued a threat to Right to Information activist N. Yona Konyak, who is a member of the PCC vigilance cell, for filing an RTI seeking information on the number of government vehicles and drivers the Speaker and the deputy Speaker are entitled to and those allotted to them, as well as the new vehicles purchased for the two officials.

Sazo’s letter says Konyak would be wholly responsible if any untoward incident happens to the Speaker, his family, personal secretary, personal assistant, drivers or vehicles.

The letter, which was recently handed over to Konyak by Sazo’s personal assistant Thepusayi Nienu at Congress Bhawan, also says the Speaker, who is entitled to Z-plus category, is under Z category on the government list.

A copy of the letter was sent to the chief minister, the president of Chakhesang Public Organisation and the president of Konyak Union, of which Konyak is a member.

Terming the threat as unbecoming and an effort to strangulate RTI, the Congress cautioned Sazo that he would be held responsible if anything happened to Konyak.

Congress president S.I. Jamir said the threat, which has come in the public domain for the first time in the history of RTI in the state, was against the spirit of the act and the party would not take it lightly.

The Congress said it would not hesitate to file an FIR against the threat and would also bring out more scams of the state government.

The Congress, which had earlier filed a complaint against Sazo with the state vigilance department for allegedly siphoning off crores of rupees from the social welfare department in his position as its parliamentary secretary, said the Speaker has six government vehicles, including a Ranger Rover, which costs over Rs 52 lakh, a Toyota Camry (Rs 24,98,235), a Honda CRV, a Scorpio and two Boleros. Deputy Speaker E. Levi Rengma has two vehicles, a Duster and Xylo. Four drivers have been allotted to the Speaker and one to the deputy Speaker. The personal assistants of the two officials have been allotted a vehicle each.

This at a time when the state is reeling under a financial crisis, it said, alleging gross financial mismanagement over the years by the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland.

The party, which had observed a Dimapur bandh yesterday, threatened another strike in a day or two which would affect the ongoing 10-day Hornbill Festival.

The party is demanding the ouster of “tainted” health and family welfare minister Imkong L. Imchen.

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