Kohima: Nagaland Police on Friday revealed that since 2015, a total of 893 cases have been registered against various “under ground (UG) groups” or rebel groups where a total of 1,238 persons have been arrested for their involvement in various crimes like violation of Arms Act, Explosive Acts, murder, offense against the state, abduction/kidnapping for ransom, UA (P) Act, NSR, extortion and robbery.
Addressing a press conference at the Police Headquarters in Kohima, IG Range Lima Sunep Jamir, said that the law and order scenario in the state is a matter of concern, particularly in regard to the matter of extortion which has “received a lot of attention”.
He assured that the Nagaland Police will “continue to carry out its mandated duty of anti-extortion drive relentlessly, irrespective of various UG Groups/Over Ground Sympathisers (OGS)/Anti-social elements masquerading or taking the name of various UG groups”.
He said that the Nagaland Police along with the Security Forces (AR/CAPFs) in the past five years have registered 893 cases against various rebel groups including the NSCN-IM, NSCN-Khango, NSCN-R, NSCN-U, NSCN-YA, NNC/FGN/ and other Northeast outfits.
The break out of the rebel groups, the number of cases registered and the number of persons arrested,provided by the Nagaland Police are: 247 cases against NSCN IM with 361 persons arrests; 197 cases against NSCN U with 267 arrests; 63 cases against NSCN-R with 91 arrests; 198 cases against NSCN (YA) with 263 arrests.
While 10 cases were filed against NSCN (KHANGO), 10 arrests have also been made. 148 cases were also filed against NNC/FGN and 187 arrests were made. As for Northeast (N-E) outfits, 30 cases were registered and 59 arrests were made. In regard to the cases filed against other Northeast outfits, he mentioned that the states of Assam and Manipur are included.
In Total 893 cases have been registered against the rebel groups in the past five years and a total of 1238 persons have been arrested for their involvement in in various crimes like violation of Arms Act, Explosive Acts, murder, offense against the state, abduction/kidnapping for ransom, UA (P) Act, NSR, extortion and robbery.
Menace of extortion:
“Out of the total cases registered in the last five years, the extortion case is the largest and the major bulk of it,” said Jamir. In Dimapur alone, 507 cases have been registered against the extortionist in the last five years and a total of 723 extortionists have been arrested by the Dimapur Police. In Kohima, more than 105 cases have been registered and about 126 extortionists have been arrested, he further informed.
Since June 1, he said that the Nagaland Police received intelligence inputs about the movement of NSCN-K (Yung Aung) cadres in Kohima, following which the Superintendent of Police (SP) Kohima and team conducted multiple operations.
The first arrest was made on June 11 when a hard core extortionist was arrested by the Kohima Police along with an accomplice. Another hard core extortionist was arrested on June 16 and on 17, an absconding accused was arrested. He also recalled the incident on June 23 when two persons were confronted by the police where one accused was arrested and another accused person died in a scuffle.
He also said that in Dimapur, more than 9 arrests have been madfe in the past week. On June 24, in a joint operation by the police and the Assam Rifles, four cadres of NSCN-Khango group were arrested. While the arrested persons are in police custody, he said that arms and ammunition, and extortion slips were also recovered.
Jamir said that most extortion activities are happening in Kohima and Dimapur likely due to more active economic activities in these two districts.
95% of cases are registered suo-moto
The police officer said that 95% of the cases are registered suo-moto by the police—where no formal complaints are lodged by the aggrieved party. He claimed that all measures against extortion—cases registered and arrests made are done “purely on the strength of police action”.
“It actually stabs at the very heart of the criminal Justice system when the victims of crime or victims of extortions do not find it a part of their duty and responsibility to file a formal complaint in a police station and share the facts and circumstances of the crime,” he said.
When a formal complaint is lodged by the aggrieved party, he said that it becomes easier for police to apprehend the criminals. He therefore appealed all citizens to be more forthcoming with criminal complaints and to take it upon as a duty and responsibility to come forward and assist the police in tackling the menace of extortion.
He further said that the Nagaland Police does not suffer from the “burking of crime” referring to under-reporting of cases or non-registration of cases. He assured that the Nagaland police will be prompt to take cognizance of any complaint as there are enough supervisory officers to ensure that action is taken. He added that anonymity and confidentiality of all persons will also be maintained.
In regard to cases of extortionists being bailed out “leniently”, he said that cases are strengthened when a formal complaint is filed as the FIR holds substance. “If it is a suo-moto FIR, then the Court may have certain suspicion against the police,” he added.
While admitting that the criminal justice system is in the process of evolution in Nagaland, he also said that there is need for a lot of improvement. He also expressed that there is need to strengthen policies regarding the rehabilitation of arrested persons which needs to be done at state government level.
Caution against Terror funding:
As a matter of caution, he said that submission to such “illegal demands by various groups/ elements/ UGs not withstanding any justification, can be harmful for the person that pays the extortion because it can leave a trail of terror funding, offense against the state, abetment to criminal offense, and many other provisions of law as has happened in the past”.
He said “Any case relating to terror funding or terrorist activities as is termed under the UAPA Act will invoke the provision and intervention of national agencies”.
Furthermore, he said it is “imperative that the criminal justice system is set into motion at the local police station so that the ends of justice can be delivered by Nagaland Police”.