Dimapur: Nagaland chief secretary J Alam on Wednesday said out of 34 check gates in the state, 21 check gates have been closed and only 13 inter-state check gates are operating at the moment.

Alam, along with Nagaland DGP T John Longkumer and home commissioner Abhijit Sinha, held a press conference in Kohima to give an overview of the issue of closing the check gates across the state.

On May 19, the Nagaland government ordered the immediate closure of all police and other check gates, except the existing inter-state check gates, to combat the illegal collection of money from the vehicles at check gates and other locations in the state.

The state government said though it had issued several directives in the past to curb the illegal collection of money from the vehicles, reports continue to be received about the illegal collection of money on roads and at various check gates by organisations, groups, and government agencies, private individuals, etc.

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Alam said the DCs of all the districts and other officials have gone to various check gates to oversee the closure of the check gates. He also said two phone numbers are operating 24×7 with abled and dedicated officers to help in checking the illegal collection of money.

He made an ardent appeal to the public to give information about any illegal taxation or collection.

DGP Longkumer said the order for closure of check gates was enforced from May 20, a day after the notification in this regard was issued. He said so far eight complaints were received and six complaints were found to be actionable.

Longlumer added that six FIRs were lodged in different police stations and investigations are going on. He appealed to the people to cooperate with the security forces and inform the police at the earliest about any illegal activities.

Meanwhile, four Dimapur-based organizations have appealed to the authority concerned to partially reconsider the blanket ban on the tax levied by the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC).

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At a meeting on May 30, the Dimapur Urban Chairmen Council Federation, GB Union Dimapur (Sardar), Dimapur Naga Students’ Union and Naga Women Hoho Dimapur deliberated on certain directives issued in the May 19 government notification, which could potentially cause inconvenience and confusion to the resident of Dimapur urban areas in view of the blanket ban on utility fees levied by the DMC.

The organisations expressed apprehension that the DMC’s functioning and the services it rendered to the public of Dimapur would be compromised if it was disallowed to levy certain utility fees.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com