NIA summons ex-Nagaland CM TR Zeliang in 'terror funding' case

NIA summons ex-Nagaland CM TR Zeliang in 'terror funding' case

With the announcement of State Assembly Elections 2018 in Nagaland, came a summon from the NIA for three staffers of the then Chief Minister's Office.

On February 13 three officials of the Nagaland Chief Ministers office (CMO) were summoned by the NIA for interrogation on February 15. Considering that the session of the new state assembly would begin tomorrow, the NIA accepted his request for time and postponed the appearance date.

The NIA probe revealed that the three accused had diverted government funds to the banned outfit, sources said.In 2016, the NIA had registered a case to probe the allegations of extortion and illegal tax collection by NSCN (K) cadres in Dimapur and Kohima following a diktat from its self-styled "brigadier", Isac Sumi.

The former chief minister was asked to appear before the NIA investigating officer on March 17 at 10 am in New Delhi "along with documents relevant to the payments received from the government department for the objective of answering certain questions relating to investigation of the case without fail", the letter said.

(G.N.S) Dt. 12 Kohima NIA has summoned Zeliang to appear before its officials on March 13.

The PS pointed out that on March 1, just before the election results were announced, another official of CMO was again summoned and interrogated for five days from March 3 to 7 at NIA's headquarters in New Delhi.

Again on this occasion, the Officer complied and appeared before the Investigating Officer.

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The former Nagaland CM Zeliang's name has emerged while probing payments to National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) from state government funds.

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.

NIA had earlier called his OSD (officer on special duty) Ruokuovizo, and 2 other public relation officers, Karibo and Kuirang and now the investigation agency has called former chief minister TR Zeliang for the questioning.

Now that a new government has been installed in Nagaland, the dust of the NIA summons was presumed to have settled down.

"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".

This raises three very serious questions. The case seemed to have been settled in regard to the three officers.

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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