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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Youth team to continue drive

Kohima, Aug. 31: The Kohima Village Youth Organisation, criticised for behaving like a vigilante group, said it would continue to crack down on criminals and anti-social elements here.

The quick response team, formed on March 7 by the organisation, has been criticised for allegedly taking over the job of the administration and law enforcement agencies.

But the organisation claimed it has been doing a commendable job for ensuring the safety of people and would continue its crackdown on criminals and anti-social elements.

Peter Rutsa, president of the youth organisation, said the response team receives dozens of calls from people to help them in matters ranging from theft of vehicles and robbery. He said two vehicles are lost every week here and some have been recovered by the prompt action of the team. “Many people have approached us to recover their lost vehicles and check the menace of car thefts.”

The youth organisation has also been assisting police in manning traffic, cleaning of the town and social activities. They also have their own taxis in strategic locations to provide rides to needy people at cheaper fares.

He said the response team would keep vigil round the clock and coordinate with the law-enforcing agencies in helping to catch criminals. “We are a social organisation but trained by professionals to react to various emergencies,” Rutsa said.

“The quick response team has been responding not only to car thefts but other crimes, social disturbances, disruptive behaviour by people, which would disturb the peace of the town,” he claimed.

Rutsa, however, said the state government has asked them not to engage in moral policing. He urged youth organisations in other colonies and wards to cooperate with them to maintain peace.

On the other hand, the Angami Students’ Union said it would continue to check illegal use of government vehicles by officers for private purposes. The union said it would not allow government officers to misuse government vehicles.