Dimapur, Sep. 10 (EMN): The NSCN (R) has denied allegation of its involvement in the death of a youth from Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh.
The incident, as reported by The Arunachal Times, occurred on August 26 in which the victim, identified as Hangkon Solting, a resident of Jongi village under Changlang district, was said to have died as a result of physical assault, allegedly perpetrated by NSCN (R) cadres.
In a press release issued by its Ministry of Information and Publicity, the NSCN (R) has termed the allegation levelled against it as “very unfortunate and uncalled for.”
The MIP said that it conducted a thorough investigation into the incident and found out hat the deceased fell victim to mob fury.
Citing the findings of the investigation, the group clasimed that the victim was a former pastor, who enrolled in the NSCN (K) group led by Khango Konyak.
“Solting was involved in extortion from villages and businesses in the Khimyang and Kantang Circles and Changlang town under the command of one Hangnang Pangtha alias Pandong Pangtha. Pangtha was described as a revenue collector of the NSCN (K2) operating from Dimapur,” the NSCN (R) claimed in its press release.
In the days running up to the death, it said that Solting had served extortion notice amounting to INR 50,000 each to villages under Khimyang and Kantang Circles.
“After forcefully collecting money from some of the villages he was pressing hard from the remaining villagers as well and asking them to pay heed to his demand,” it said.
According to the statement, the local populace told Solting not to harass them as the people of the area has suffered enough having to pay taxes beyond their limits to the different NSCN groups and various others.
However, it claimed that the NSCN (R) has been the only group, which has exempted the local people in the Naga areas of Arunachal Pradesh from any form of taxation since February 2016.
“There was already a very strong anti-taxation wave building in the Tirap, Changlang and Longding areas,” it claimed that the extortion notice served by Solting “triggered the outburst of the sentiment of some people and he fell victim to the mob fury,” the release stated.
Stating that the allegation against the NSCN (R) was “completely baseless and irrational irrational,” it added that photographic and circumstantial evidences recovered in its investigation will be handed over to the law enforcing agencies to substantiate their fact findings.