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Two fake documents bearing the signatures of CM Neiphiu Rio and NDPP president Konyak have been doing rounds on social media
Two fake documents bearing the signatures of CM Neiphiu Rio and NDPP president Konyak have been doing rounds on social media|Representational Image
NAGALAND

Nagaland: Fake news rocks Rio-led govt ahead of Lok Sabha polls

CMO, NDPP term it a political strategy targeted to impact the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance and defame its leadership

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Kohima: Days before Lok Sabha polling takes place in the state, the chief minister’s office (CMO) and the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) have filed “necessary FIRs” and notified the Election Commission of India (ECI) over the circulation of fake documents bearing the signatures of the CM and the NDPP president.

In what was termed as “a political strategy targeted to impact the PDA (People’s Democratic Alliance) coalition and defame PDA leadership” executed by party’s rivals over two fake documents containing forged signatures of chief minister Neiphiu Rio and NDPP president Chingwang Konyak, the CMO and NDPP have filed FIRs over “blatant criminal acts”.

While one fake document dated March 28 under the CM’s letterhead titled “Top Confidential” was addressed to Rahul Gandhi, seeking post-poll alliance for a “secular government” under the Congress, the other fake document dated March 27 bore the signatures of both Rio and Konyak, listing the names of eight Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators and two former NPP legislators who had recently merged with NDPP, to be inducted as ministers and advisors.

In a press release dated April 7, the party said that it has filed an FIR stating, “The severity of these crimes includes forgery, impersonation, illegal production and misuse of state official stationery with the intent to mislead the citizens of the state and create confusions in the minds of the masses by resorting to strategies that are illegal and deserving of exemplary punishment.”

It further said: “These are very serious political crimes that challenge the foundations of democracy aimed at making innocent citizens lose confidence in the system and the government. It is also a direct attempt of sowing the seeds of mistrust and breaking the levels of confidence with the coalition; but the PDA stands stronger than ever and will not be swayed or affected by such mindless criminal acts.”

Further, the party said that it was not the first time that such an attempt was made. Earlier too, misinformation claiming that Rio “conducted closed door meetings with the Congress president” had featured on social media. The party said that, “It is indeed unfortunate that levels of politics in the state has stooped so low to such a state where our political adversaries, in their desperation and frustration have resorted to such an unbelievable and shocking political strategy.” Expressing confidence that party added that the people of the state are not gullible” and “will not be fooled by such wild gimmickry!”

On April 6, the party had condemned the circulation of the fake documents saying that, “the contents of the fake letters are completely ridiculous and deserves no explanation”.

Meanwhile, Kewekhape Therie, president, Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC), in a press release on Sunday said that the Congress had no “knowledge about the alleged fake letters of NDPP”. Therie further accused Rio of fooling the “Delhi Congress leaders” with the aid of some state Congress leaders since 2015 but assured that NPCC is committed to support the NPF.

While stating that the signatures in the alleged fake letters appeared “genuine”, Therie is of the view that “those papers were perhaps used to convince money-minded NPF members to support NDPP and BJP while social media is rife with allegations that they have accepted crores (sic)” and further welcomed the NDPP’s decision to file an FIR.