NIA summons chief minister TR Zeliang’s staff; NPF point finger at BJP

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned Officer on Special Duty to Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang and two of his office staff for questioning in connection with a case of alleged terror funding. The case pertains to alleged extortion by groups such as NSCN (K), NSCN (IM) and Naga National Council from at least 14 government departments.

Those summoned by the NIA include Ruokuovizo Chupno, OSD to CM Zeliang, and two public relations officers in his office. Said Sebastian Zumvu, press secretary of the NPF: “The NIA action isn’t surprising…Since they (BJP) are no longer in coalition with us for the elections, this is what they are doing. The NIA is a Central agency and it would be fair for them to enquire into large money withdrawals by BJP candidates and their families from banks just before the elections.”

On January 18, 2017, the NIA conducted searches in various government departments in Nagaland and seized receipts that showed payments to the tune of Rs 2 crore.

In an official statement, the agency said, “These seizures prima facie indicate the connivance of these government organisations in funding various underground organisations operating in Nagaland.” Sources said these departments include the Directorate of Information Technology, Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation, Directorate of Irrigation, Directorate of Rural Development, Directorate of Urban Development, PWD, Roads and Buildings, and Directorate of Information and Public Relations. (Agencies)

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