Nagaland: Former CM Zeliang under NIA radar in extortion case

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday summoned former Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang in connection with its ongoing probe into large-scale extortion and illegal tax collection from state government departments by the banned NSCN (K).

The former Chief Minister of Nagaland and the Naga People's Front (NPF) ace leader TR Zeliang is summoned by the National Investigation Agency as his name has surfaced in a matter related to Tax Collection and Extortion. He called it "political vendetta", and said Zeliang would not be able to travel on Tuesday as the newly-elected Assembly starts its session that day. The federal anti-terror probe agency had recovered payment slips and other related documents which established that the alleged officers were involved with NSCN (K) in the illegal tax collection racket.

"The timing of the summons is suspect", Hau said, stressing that the agency needs to understand that "as the head of the NPF legislature party, it is very important for him to be present in the Assembly from March 13 to March 26".

He stated: "I shall, therefore, be grateful if I am summoned to appear before you on another date after the session".

After few days of questioning, the three were let go by the NIA Guwahati Branch Office.

Further, the timing of the summons, despite the co-operation rendered from day one, is conspicuously "odd and political motivation and vendetta surrounding the case can not be ruled out", the communiqué from the former Chief Minister alleged. Mr Zeliang has been asked to appear at the NIA's headquarters in New Delhi tomorrow.

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To buttress its allegation, NPF pointed out that after announcement of Assembly election in the State, NIA had summoned three staffs of CMO.

NIA officials in Guwahati said they not heard anything from Zeliang yet. The case seemed to have been settled in regard to the three officers. The former chief minister had then written to the NIA expressing his inability to comply at such a short notice and also because of the assembly session which he was required to attend as the leader of opposition.

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.

Further NPF said it was presumed that the dust of NIA summons had settled down with installation of a new government.

The NPF Bureau said casting aspersions on the integrity of a man who wanted peace and harmony in Nagaland and in the Northeast as having committed crimes against the nation by an investigating agency instituted to investigate terror activities, "was most perplexing".

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