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Outcry over rise in crime

Kohima, July 25: Nagaland Congress Legislature Party leader Tokheho Yepthomi today expressed concern over the rise in crime and arms smuggling in the state and called for appropriate measures to check it, particularly in Dimapur.

He asked for deployment of more police and security personnel in and around Dimapur, the commercial hub of the state, as criminals of the region and other parts of the state have been taking shelter here.

He said criminals have been taking advantage of the ongoing ceasefire between the Centre and Naga militant groups.

Yepthomi urged the state government to see that house owners and hotels properly verify the identities of tenants or they would be held responsible for sheltering criminals.

Home minister Y. Patton said the government would make all efforts to curb crime in the state. He said the police have arrested 282 criminals since 2013.

Patton said besides prevention, detection, arrest and detention of criminals under various acts such as the IPC and Special and Local Laws, criminals acting against security of the state and maintenance of peace and essential services are detained under National Security Act (NSA) 1980.

The minister said under NSA, district magistrates are empowered to detain arrested persons initially for 12 days during which period the state government has to approve the detention.

Nagaland has been a hub of arm smugglers for many years but of late there has been increase in the illegal trade that the authorities have failed to nip in the bud.

According to government and other sources, sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles are also manufactured in the interior areas of the state. Country-made pistols and different types of guns are now easily available in the black market at very cheap rates, they said. There are reports of illegal gun manufacturing units along the Indo-Myanmar border which supply arms to Myanmar militants and gun buyers in the state.

A country-made pistol can be bought for Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 in Dimapur, the sources said.