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Thousands take to the street against illegal taxations

Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 31

Five years after the Clock Tower resolution “One Government One Tax,” citizens of Dimapur once again took to the street to reaffirm the resolution and pledged to take a united stand against the menace of illegal taxations and collections.

Thousands of citizens from all walks of life congregated at Khermahal Traffic Point to lend their solidarity and support to the ‘Public Rally Against Illegal Taxation and Rampant Collections’ organized by Public Action Committee (PAC) under the aegis of Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) on Wednesday.

The rally adopted eight resolutions, including urging the state government to immediately stop all illegal taxations and rampant collections on various goods and service, to ban syndicate and lease system and unauthorized collection centres operating in and around Dimapur district by various unions and organizations including Naga Political Groups (NPGs). The rally also appealed to the Government of India and NPGs to solve the protracted Naga political issue, which would also be the “ultimate solution to all illegal taxations and collections.”

Further, it insisted on immediate implementation of the report of the High Power Committee earlier set up by the government to check the menace of illegal taxation.

Convenor, PAC, Vekhosayi Nyekha who chaired the programme in his introductory address said the government of the day remains unconcerned and inactive towards all the evil design systems of the rampant collections. He also said Naga national workers, instead of fighting for freedom are busy collecting so-called taxes and threatening those who are nurturing and supporting them.

“We want a Nagaland where there is no fear, not live under the shadow of guns and goons, who control the markets and pull the price they want to set in the market. We will not be mute spectators anymore. Do not test the patience of the public. Enough is enough”, he said.

President, NCD, T Bangerloba Ao, said the government should immediately remove all illegal collection points at check gates. He also said the Government of India should expedite the Indo-Naga issue for an early solution, that the NPGs should stop all forms of illegal taxation. He further appealed that the rally should end with the note “We want solution but not taxation.”

Hekhevi Achumi, a senior citizen and member, fact finding committee PAC, shared some of the findings of the committee.

President, Naga women Hoho Dimapur (NWHD), Sungsabeni Jamio, said Naga public are fed up with the activities of those people who are living at the expense of other’s sweat and profit.

The NWHD president said because of rampant taxation and syndicate/lease system, many mothers cannot afford basic nutrition to the children, thereby affecting the health and future of the children and society. Sungsabeni also said because of the syndicate/lease system, there is no price or quality control and no healthy competition among traders and businessmen.

President Bengali Samaj, KK Paul, who spoke on the behalf of non-Naga communities, said settlement of the Naga political issue would help in solving the taxation problems. He also called upon all non-Naga communities to extend cooperation for common good.

Solidarity messages were also read out by Pius Lotha, advisor, Central Naga Tribal Council (representing Central Nagas), Savi Liegise, advisor, Angami Public Organization (representing Tenyimei people) and W Lemba Chang, senior leader Eastern Nagaland Public Organization (representing Eastern Nagas).

Pius Lotha said the state government should pass an act whereby those who indulge in illegal activities should get a minimum 3-year jail term without bail. He also said the government should close down all tax collection offices and set up special task force in every district to check illegal taxation and collections.

Savi Liegise, reminded that NCD had organized a similar rally exactly five years ago against illegal and rampant taxation and collection but that the situation was going from bad to worse. He said it was high time that the tax-paying public wake up and take concerted steps to end the menace of illegal taxation. “Let us not have another meeting or rally like this….Next time it should be a meeting of celebration”, Savi said.

Voicing out against illegal taxation by different players, Lemba Chang said the Eastern Nagas extend full solidarity to the PAC. Secretary, PAC, Nilo Rengma, read out the resolution adopted.

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