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E-Pao! Opinion - Without Cease

Without Cease

Geoffery *



The North East region of India has been afflicted with insurgency and its related problems for the past six decades. There are a large number of Underground outfits in this region.

Some of the outfits have entered into cease agreement with GoI, some have entered into suspension of operations accord with security forces. Yet there are some who are on a path of confrontation. Irrespective of ceasefire/suspension of operations; fire between the groups and related inconvenience to the public is continuing unceasingly.

Let us go through onerous journey via Gateway of North East India i.e. Assam and then proceed eastward to Nagaland and Manipur, the most affected states.

Although, UPDS, DHD & NDFB have entered into ceasefire agreement with GoI but the outfits continue to extort and indulge in violent activities. Efforts for peace talks with the largest outfit in Assam i.e.ULFA have failed.

UPDS and KNV along Assam-Meghalaya border are extorting Rs 200/- per year per family, Rs/- 5000/- per vehicle and Rs. 15000/- per power tiller. As per US News Agency STRATFOR, ULFA C-in-C Paresh Baruaís assets in Bangladesh are worth 110 million dollars.

This is a case of one top functionary of the outfit, what about others? The outfit is mainly involved in large scale extortions. In 2006 ULFA had served extortion notices on ONGC and RBI for Rs 5 billion and 1.5 million respectively. Recent kidnapping of Dr PC Ram (an FCI official) for a ransom of rupees 21 crores is well known.

NSCN is the oldest outfit in this region. They have a well oiled setup to collect voluntary tax( as they call it)e.g. employment tax (@ 2% of pay p.m.), Transport tax, Business tax, Contractor tax, Shop tax, Vehicle tax, Ration Tax, Immigration Tax etc. Case of NSCNís death threat to DC Ukhrul district for gaining contract of a community hall and later denying the media reports does not enhance its credibility.

The threat to Dr Lotha, Medical Minister of Nagaland for Rs five lakhs is a reminder. There are large numbers of similar threats, in the region, to secure contracts for over ground workers/front faces of UG outfits. Most of these go unreported, probably with the tacit blessings of those who matter.

Similarly Manipur has almost two dozen outfits. Complete state of Manipur is divided as per influence of different outfits. Eight Kuki outfits have entered into an agreement with GoI for cessation of hostilities. Some of the out fits have entered into agreement of suspension of operations accord with SFs but not otherwise.

KYKL served a notice of Rs 10000 per bus to all tourist bus operators plying between Shillong/Gauhati/Dimapur to Imphal and back. Prices of commodities in Manipur have doubled due to such notices and threats. Can a common man with meager resources survive? This is courtesy of those self claimed revolutionaries who claim to be fighting for the cause of society they belong.

Delay in construction of NH-39, a result of continuous attempts at extortion of contractors, is robbing Manipur of the benefits that are reaching other remote parts of India.

The dream of linking India with SE Asia through Manipur, a natural process of Globalization and regional cooperation, is suffering due to turf war between various groups for respective share.

Who then are the enemy of people? From the foregoing and the following; readers may assess themselves, how should they act?

These activities are affecting the common man. Some of the recent reactions are: Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) Meghalaya expressed concern over UPDS, KNV activities; two cadres of ULFA have been lynched in Sibasagar district Assam during an extortion drive; Kohima Village Youth Organisation (KVYO), Nagaland has warned to standup against uncivil activities of NSCN factions even with unsophisticated weapons, public up rise in Zunheboto and Phek against excesses by factions are well known ; lukewarm or no response by the public to various calls given by these outfits ; even in Manipur people are expressing their anger over the un civil activities of outfits etc.

It is time these illegal activities of miscreants must cease; otherwise this region will lag behind in achieving what it deserves.

Do we realize that whatever is paid by any businessman, transporter etc is added to the cost of goods a common man buys?
Do we realize that a common man is bearing a threefold burden i.e. paying authorized tax to the legitimate Government, unauthorized tax to the outfits and raised price of goods for daily needs?

Imagine if the common man had to pay only legitimate taxes, he would have more money to spend for his family and the goods he has to buy will be much cheaper. How long will a common man bear the unnecessary financial burden at the cost of depriving his family members of nourishing food and better life?

In the fast moving and developing world why should the benefits not reach the people of this region? This can be ensured.

Think, Decide, Act.


* Geoffery, a freelancer, writes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be reached at jaey_geoffery(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in This article was webcasted on 13th June 2007.



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