NIA summons TR Zeliang; NPF reacts to NIA summon to TR Zeliang
DIMAPUR | Mar 12 : National Investigation Agency (NIA) summoned former Nagaland Chief Minister, TR Zeliang, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly in connection with the alleged extortion case of the NSCN-K. The NIA asked TR Zeliang to appear before Sh Jasveer, deputy superintendent of police (NIA) on March 13 in New Delhi. However, the office of TR Zeliang informed the media that the former Chief Minister will not be able to appear before the NIA official on the day as the Nagaland Legislative Assembly session commences from March 13.
Meanwhile, the office of TR Zeliang stated that the “notice was served through a fax number belonging to the Chief Minister’s Office 15 minutes past midnight on March 12, after which a second letter was again served through the same fax number at 10:5 am the same day, the content of which was similar to the first.
According to the press secretary of TR Zeliang, on February 15 and 16, just before the State Assembly elections, NIA had summoned for questioning three officials to Guwahati which included the OSD, the Media Officer and Public Relations Officer to the then Chief Minister, TR Zeliang.
Again on March 1, just before the election results were announced, a staff of TR Zeliang was again summoned and interrogated for 5 days, from March 3 to March 7 at the NIA headquarters in New Delhi, stated the press secretary of TR Zeliang.
The latest summoning of the former Chief Minister himself comes at a time when the State Assembly is slated to hold its session from March 13 to March 26, the press secretary of TR Zeliang added.
In this regard, TR Zeliang has written to the NIA expressing his inability to appear “at such a short notice” and also because of the Assembly Session where he is required to attend as the Leader of Opposition.
“NIA has been investigating extortion cases in Nagaland since August 2016 and TR Zeliang, as a law abiding citizen of the country, is ready to co-operate with any Investigating agency including the NIA. However, what remains true is the fact that the then Chief Minister’s Office under TR Zeliang has nothing to do with funding banned organizations,” the press secretary of TR Zeliang clarified.
“The timing of the summons, despite the co-operation rendered from day one, is conspicuously odd and political motivation and vendetta surrounding the case cannot be ruled out”, he added.
Meanwhile, reacting to the summon letter served to former Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Naga People’s Front (NPF) stated this evening that “a devious game is being played against former Chief Minister and Naga People’s Front leader TR Zeliang by the National Investigation Agency which is tasked with looking into terror activities in the country but now appears to be used to grind the proverbial political axe”.
According to the NPF, with the announcement of the State Assembly elections 2018 in Nagaland, came a summon from the NIA for three staffers of the then Chief Minister’s Office. “The three officers, as law abiding citizens of India, complied and appeared before the NIA officer concerned at the Guwahati NIA Branch Office. After few days of questioning, the three were let go by the NIA Guwahati Branch Office. The case seemed to have been settled in regard to the three officers”, the NPF added.
However, just a day before the declaration of the Assembly elections result, one of the officers from Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) was again summoned to appear before the NIA investigating officer at the NIA HQ, New Delhi, stated the NPF. “Again on this occasion, the officer complied and appeared before the investigating officer. Much to his dismay, he was repeatedly interrogated for 5 consecutive days from morning till late evening, until the day TR Zeliang resigned from the office of Chief Minister”, the NPF added.
“Now that a new government has been installed in Nagaland, the dust of the NIA summons was presumed to have settled down. The first session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held on March 13, 2018. However, as things would have it, a summon letter by the NIA was dispatched to the Chief Minister’s Office on March 12, 2018, at 00:15 am (midnight) summoning the former Chief Minister, and, this raises three very serious questions”, stated NPF.
“What is the urgency that a letter has to be dispatched at 00:15 hours?” NPF asked. “Given the fact that the first session of the 13th Assembly is slated for March 13, couldn’t the NIA wait another day?” NPF further asked.The NPF finally questioned, “Knowing very well that TR Zeliang has already resigned, why send the fax to the Chief Minister’s Office?”
According to NPF, this whole development “raises very serious questions as to whether a well-webbed political vendetta is being played out against a man who championed and was ready to sacrifice for the cause of Naga people and their 70 decades struggle”. According to the NPF, to cast aspersions on the integrity of a “man who wants peace and harmony for Nagaland in particular and north eastern region in general, as having committed crimes against the nation worthy to be looked into by an investigating agency instituted to investigate terror activities, is most perplexing”.
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