Former Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang, who has been summoned by the National Investigation Agency(NIA) to appear before it in connection with a case of siphoning of government funds to the NSCN-K on Saturday, has submitted a written reply to the investigating agency’s headquarters in New Delhi, denying his involvement in the offence.
“Zeliang’s advocate submitted his written reply to NIA where he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with the siphoning of government funds to NSCN (K) or any other outfit. He has also mentioned that if government departments have been doing so, he was not aware of it and had that been brought to his knowledge he would put an end to it,” The Times of India quoted a source closed to Zeliang.
“He (Zeliang) did not meet NIA and only submitted his written reply. There is no question of him appearing before NIA since there is no proof whatsoever that he sponsored or supported or extended support or assisted or aided NSCN (K),” the source said.
NIA first faxed a letter to the CM’s office summoning Zeliang to its New Delhi office on Tuesday.
Zeliang, who is now leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly, wrote back to NIA seeking a later date for appearance, as the first session of the newly-elected assembly started from Tuesday and he needed to be present. The investigating agency had then changed the date to Saturday.
The terror funding probe has been on since 2016, when the previous Naga People’s Front (NPF)-led government was in power.
The summon notice, signed by NIA deputy superintendent of police Yogesh Rathore of the Guwahati unit, referred to Zeliang as being ‘acquainted with circumstances of the case’.
Just before the assembly election in February, NIA had summoned three officials from the chief minister’s office to Guwahati. Two days before the election results were announced, one of these officers was summoned to New Delhi again.