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Nagaland shuts down over activist detention

Kohima, Aug. 4: Shops downed shutters for six hours from 6am today in Dimapur, Kohima, Zunheboto, Mokokchung and other parts in Nagaland in response to a call by an anti-tax organisation in protest against the detention of its member by militants recently.

The secretary of Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), an NGO, Solomon L. Awomi, was detained by cadres of the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) lodged at its camp near Dimapur for his alleged anti-Naga activities.

The outfit released the activist on August 2 following intervention by other Naga organisations and only after he signed a bond saying he would cease to be a member of the anti-tax group.

Awomi was taken to Khehoyi designated camp, 15km from Dimapur, for “questioning” on the ground that he had asked the government departments not to pay tax to Naga outfits and warned that anyone defying the diktat of the organisation would be considered anti-Naga.

The anti-tax group also warned government officers that action would be initiated if taxes were paid to militants.

The Naga militants have branded the NGO anti-Naga organisation, which is trying to strangulate Naga nationalism at the behest of the Centre.

But for the common people, the Centre has been widely criticised for allowing mushrooming of outfits in the name of Naga nationalism.

The Centre has signed a ceasefire pact with the NSCN (I-M), NSCN (K), NSCN (KK) and Naga National Council (NNC).

The anti-tax group said Awomi was forced to sign the paper under duress and that they would never accept such tactics by the militants to subdue the people’s movement against their activities.

The anti-tax activists have also asked the state government to take the issue seriously adding that it was a matter of concern for all Naga people.