The National Socialist Council of Nagaland NSCN(IM) on Wednesday said that Nagaland Governor RN Ravi is desperately trying to criminalize the Naga political movement by questioning the taxation right of the NSCN.
On Tuesday, Nagaland Governor RN Ravi said the Government of India does not recognize the collection of tax by any other entity other than by it or a state government.
A war of words has been going on between NSCN(IM) and RN Ravi after he was made the Governor of Nagaland. RN Ravi is the interlocutor between the government of India and NSCN.
“The NSCN collected taxes to support the Naga people's political movement which started in 1929 even before India got independence from the British. Opposing the Naga tax is nothing short of obstructing the Naga political movement and to let the Naga people be enslaved by India,” an NSCN(IM) statement stated.
According to the statement, taxation was there during the Naga National Council (NNC) time and now under the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) which has taken over to spearhead the Naga political movement.
“NSCN is a genuine political group and a government of the people with total commitment to find an honorable political settlement and it should not be treated at par with other outfits that have different objectives that are not going to benefit the Nagas in the final moment but only for temporary benefits,” the statement read.
Without taking a name, Mr Ravi said a Naga armed organization engaged in the peace process has issued a statement recently, which was carried in the media, that they have a right to collect “tax” from the people and further added that their right has also been recognized by the representative of the Government of India having a dialogue with them.
“Such an erroneous statement is likely to cause confusion among the people. Taxation is a sovereign function which can be exercised either by the Government of India or the state government,” Mr Ravi stated in a release.
“As per the Framework Agreement, the Nagas are the masters of their own lands both below and above. So, why should India interfere in the internal matter of the sovereign Naga people?”
“The Government of India opposing taxations by the NSCN instantly violates the FA wherein the two entities have agreed to coexist peacefully as two different entities sharing sovereign power,” the NSCN(IM) stated on Wednesday.
The statement further stated, “Moreover, taxation is the legitimate right of every government of a nation-state. The Nagas declared their independence status as a sovereign nation one day ahead of India and defended its sovereign right thus far. The Naga nation does not require permission from the Government of India for taxation. The matter remains loud and clear that at no point of time the Nagas became Indians either by conquest or consent. Thus, it is too farfetched for the Governor of Nagaland state to issue such an outrageous statement on taxation.”