Militants' levy keeps truckers away from Nagaland

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Kohima, July 3 (ANI): Illegal taxes demanded by militants' have dissuaded truckers carrying essential commodities from entering Nagaland. As a result, the availability and rates of essential commodities have risen in the state.

As the rates demanded by the militants were exorbitant, the truckers loaded off their goods at Lahorijan or Bokajan on the Assam-Nagaland border, refusing to go beyond.

The truckers complain that militants are extorting large sums of money from them and also beating them up.

"The problem is that we go with our vehicles, they trouble us, they also beat us up and ask for money. Where will we pay them from?, "said Laxman, a truck driver.

The authorities have now decided to provide escort to all vehicles, security and safety to the truckers during loading and unloading of goods besides looking into the cases of extortion and abduction of truck drivers.

Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen said that they are conducting flush out operations and thus they have controlled extortion to a reasonable extent, but admitted that it continued.

Imchen confirmed the presence of ten insurgent groups from outside the state, operating in or around the commercial hub of Dimapur.

"We are conducting search and flush out operations. With that exercise, we have arrested the criminals of this situation to a reasonable extent, but I too admit that this extortion, the spectre of this extortion, is still very high," he said.

The state authorities have ordered a ban on collection of any kind of taxes or donations from the trucks and commercial vehicles.

Though there are still some truckers moving into the state, but most of them want their security to be assured before moving into the state again. By Vibhou Ganguly (ANI)

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