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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Indefinite business shutdown in Nagaland affects normal life

People rush to Assam to buy goods

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KOHIMA, April 28: People made a beeline to neighbouring Assam to buy essential commodities as the indefinite shutdown of businesses to protest “extortion” by Naga political groups threw normal life out of gear in Nagaland, with the stir entering the third day on Sunday.

The shutdown was called by the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI) on Friday also to protest alleged government inaction to protect businesses in Dimapur, the commercial hub of the state.

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The Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CNCCI) supported the call, following which shutdowns were imposed in other districts from Saturday.

Markets remained shut across the state, as a result of which people from Nagaland, especially those living along the inter-state boundary with Assam, reportedly went to the neighbouring state to buy essential commodities.

No restriction on the movement of people and traffic has been imposed.

The Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CNCCI) announced that the indefinite state-wide shutdown would continue but would be relaxed only for six hours from noon to 6 pm on Monday to allow the public to procure essential items.

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CNCCI president Khekugha Muru said the decision was taken in consideration of the fact that the shutdown was imposed in many districts without giving prior notice to the people.

CNCCI urged the government to take steps to stop “unabated” extortion, and intimidation by underground groups.

State Home Commissioner Vikeyie Kenya has directed the police to take stringent measures as “such activities reflect adversely on the law enforcing agency as well as on the state government”.

He instructed the district administrations and the police to report any violation of the ceasefire ground rules to the Ceasefire Monitoring Group for appropriate action and also continue arresting “underground cadres”, found extorting, under the National Security Act.

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On the other hand, the DCCI on Saturday submitted a five-point charter of demands to the state government through the deputy commissioner of Dimapur.

DCCI demanded that the state government immediately clarify whether taxation by NPGs was legal or illegal. It also wondered whether the business community should pay GST or the taxation of NPGs.

The DCCI asked the government to declare “summoning business community members to NPG offices, camps and monitoring cells” as illegal and law enforcing agencies be empowered to act against such places.

The DCCI also demanded that extortion, kidnapping, and waylaying of transport should be dealt with swiftly with full force and without impunity. (PTI)

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