Tuesday, June 6, 2023

‘Extortion, corruption firmly rooted from top to bottom’: NPCC slams state govt for collapse in governance

Hitting out at the state government for the collapse in governance, Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president K. Therie said that the state government has lost control for the past two decades where “extortion and corruption were firmly rooted from top to bottom”.
“Words like percentage, commission, cut, our govt tax (not people’s Govt tax), have all been coined during two decades’ rule and these have become the law and practiced as conventional law,” Therie stated.
While appreciating the removal of check gates within Nagaland, Therie also demanded the removal of inter-state check gates in view of GST and VAT.
Therie said that though the chief secretary was expecting prices of commodities to fall, however, on the ground it was not so.
Pointing out that the “internal gate extortions” were only transferred to wholesalers and retailers, Therie said more actions were required to bring down the price hike. The basis of price hike, he said was compounded with corruption and extortion by all the organs, agencies, registered societies, unions, associations, and insurgents.
He said the Essential Commodities Act and Weights and Measures Act, that sustain prices, were no longer known to the people and that illegal extortion by societies and insurgents have become deeply rooted and has replaced the law in Nagaland. As societies no longer practice defined welfare objectives to encourage, promote and preserve high standards amongst people, rather, Therie said hundreds of societies, unions and associations were taking law and order into their own hands by undertaking enforcement upon soft targets from amongst the traders.
“There is complete freedom of abusing and intimidating business houses and retailers as we have seen in multiple viral video clips,” Therie stated. Maintaining that law and order has collapsed in Nagaland, Therie alleged that the executive machineries do not go by the book of law but by verbal dictates of ministers and MLAs. “Their advice to the public is to compromise for future safety,” he alleged.
The NPCC president also said that coordinated efforts in enforcing law and customary laws were no more the practice, but instead confront each other.
Asserting that customary law is a sovereign authority of the State of Nagaland, Therie said village councils and GBs were expected to deal with law and order effectively with customary laws and procedures. He said upholding law and order is a major responsibility of the VCC and GBs. However, instead of upholding the Constitution and the law of the land, Therie alleged that many support unlawful activities while administration remains a mute spectator.
Though it is the responsibility of the administration to enforce the law of the land upon failure of customary law, Therie, however, said they end up blaming each other and in between the public are left unprotected.
Mentioning that the State Legislative Assembly’s failures were mighty, Therie said the State, for a long time, has failed to see new laws to deal with an evolving society and the growth of economy.
On the other hand, he said civil societies and NGOs make a hue and cry in the local papers, but eventually land up “seeking party tickets from the very ones they criticize.” They shamelessly exhibit their cars earned through bribes. They proudly construct palatial buildings with bribe money”.
“Instead of despising bribe takers, people praise and pray for them. This is the heights of hypocrisy of corruption,” Therie stated.
On clean election campaign, Therie said the Church well understands the predicament. But do the demands of bribe rise from the political workers or should we call them dalal/brokers? Therie asked. He said that the voters now wanted to take directly from candidates and so demand house to house visits defying the Church. On judiciary Theire said it (judiciary) has earned a huge trust deficit.
While criminals no longer fear to repeat crimes, he said they have become more dangerous to victims after being freed.
Deliberate delay and lethargic process of litigation and weak judgments were responsible for people rushing their aggrieved cases to insurgent courts for speedy judgments and accept even wrong judgments, he said.
Citing the assassination attempt on the life of Dr. S.C. Jamir at Piphema, Therie said he was shocked to learn that all accused were acquitted. He claimed that someone had told him that the judgment looked like Jamir had attempted his own life.
From the judgment, Therie said people and the police have lost trust in the judiciary. “If the judiciary cannot deliver justice, we are inviting dictatorship, mafias and organized criminals to do justice,” he stated.
While not denying the need of money by all walks of life, Therie said in the present situation, extortion and corruption appeared to be the only way.
He said that if the governor and chief secretary really meant to bring down prices, there is a need to amend the attitude of government machineries, guardians of customary law, civil societies, unions, associations and particularly the judiciary and police, to work together in the interests of safety and security to life and properties to the citizens.
They must coordinate to implement common objectives in enforcing the law of the land, he added.
Therie, therefore, appealed to the administration, police and judiciary, to work together to restore law and order and control price hike by forming independent pricing commission with taxes, weights and measures and other departments and agencies concerned, beginning from Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland.
He also urged the authorities concern to stop all illegal collections, extortions and unauthorized groups from taking law into their own hands.
Through these coordinated efforts, Therie said the public should learn to trust the law and order agencies.


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