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NSCN-K releases keys of machines

Kohima, Feb. 14: The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), which had last week seized the keys of excavators being used for a road project, has released them.

The Sumi Hoho said the outfit released the keys seized from the contractor M/s Gayatri-Maytas JV carrying out road-widening between Satakha and Zunheboto for a huge sum of money. General secretary of the Hoho, Vihuto Assumi, said they did not know the amount paid by the firm to the outfit.

The staff officer of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, G. Rengma, said the NSCN (K) had seized the keys for the second time. He said if the project was not completed, it would not be only a loss for the people of Zunheboto but for all Nagas.

The NSCN (K) has disclosed that one of its former top-ranking leaders had taken few crores of rupees from the company and defected to a rival outfit.

The two-lane road project, sanctioned under the Centre’s Accelerated Road Development Programme in December 2010 at a cost of over Rs 1,296 crore, has failed to take off owing to rampant extortion by militants from different factions who have reportedly received several crores of rupees.

The construction company had to abandon work for almost two years because of the extortion menace and the cost of the project has escalated to Rs 2,988 crore. The firm has been carrying out road-widening work from Ckhakabamato to Zunheboto, Pfutsero to Phek, Changtonya to Longl-eng and Merangkong to Mon.

The total length of the road is 329km.

Assumi said they have warned the outfits not to dem-and any more money from the firm or disrupt the project and end up facing public anger.

The Hoho has warned that any outfit disrupting the ongoing project would face the ire of the people and sought cooperation from all sections. It said any village not cooperating with the firm would face action from the Hoho, which includes the stopping of government funds.