National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday apprehended three senior Nagaland government officials, in connection with its ongoing investigation on “terror funding” case.
In a communiqué issued on Sunday, NIA stated that the three state government officials– Agriculture department director, executive engineer of Rural Development department and divisional accounts officer of the directorate of Urban Development were held on March 25, 2018.
NIA stated that the case was in connection with the alleged charges of large scale extortions and illegal tax collections, on behalf of the banned NSCN (K), from various government organizations and others in Dimapur and Kohima areas under the direction of ‘brig.’ Isac Sumi and other senior leaders.
“The officials were arrested on the basis of their alleged involvement in paying huge amount of money to various UG factions such as NSCN (K), NSCN (R), FGN, NNC and others within the period from 2012-2016,” NIA stated.
It said that the allegations were revealed during the scrutiny of official documents including demand letter and payment receipts which were seized during search operation carried out by NIA in 13 government offices on January 18, 2017.
NIA further informed that officials will be produced before the special NIA court in at Dimapur on Monday, with a request for police custody remand.
It may be mentioned that the NIA has so far apprehended/detained 10 Nagaland government officials since 2017 in connection with extortions and illegal tax collections case. Three senior government officials were first arrested in April 2017 followed by four more in October 2017.
The development also comes even as the NIA plans to issue fresh summons to former Nagaland chief minister, T.R. Zeliang, for questioning in connection with an alleged “tax collection and terror funding” case.
Earlier this month, Zeliang was summoned by NIA to Delhi for interrogation. However, he had personally written for deferment of the date for his cross examination because of the ongoing Assembly session, which would end on March 26. The NIA had also issued summons to three officials— OSD and two PROs of the CMO under Zeliang.
Reacting to summons issued by the NIA to the former chief minister, press secretary (PS) to Zeliang maintained that as a law abiding citizen of the country, TR Zeliang was ready to co-operate with any investigating agency, including NIA, probing extortion cases in Nagaland since August 2016.
The press secretary asserted that then CMO under Zeliang had nothing to do with funding banned organisations, and that the timing of summon was “conspicuously odd” as it only fuelled suspicions that political motivation and vendetta could not be ruled out.