ACAUT fighting itself; cracks widen among members

Dimapur, Feb. 9: (EMN): Division among members of the Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (Acaut) became more conspicuous even as the group’s remaining leaders threw their weight behind those who had left. Some of the members have dismissed the statements made by their colleagues during a press conference on Feb. 8, as unfortunate and undignified.

The co-chairman of Acaut Tia Longchar and Simon Kelio, the convenor of the Acaut’s public liaison issued a statement on Fri. stating that Acaut’s support for solution before election was adopted in a very transparent manner.

“On the 9th December a consultative meeting was called by the working committee of the NNPGs at Niathu resort, Dimapur, where all the apex tribal hohos and civil society organisations including the ACAUT Nagaland were invited, and whereas the ACAUT was represented by its Chairman Joel Naga, Dr. Khegukha Muru and Mar Longkumer; with all the 3 ACAUT representatives signing the attendance sheet as ACAUT members. At the meeting, the house resolved to appeal to the Government of India to defer the elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, and this resolution was carried in all the mass media.

“Based on this resolution, the ACAUT Nagaland on 3rd January 2018 held a meeting at its designated office and resolved that the ACAUT Nagaland would support the resolution adopted at the 9th December meeting by writing to the Government of India for deferment of elections. Thus, on the 6th January, the ACAUT wrote to the PM Modi to defer elections and impose President’s Rule in Nagaland,” it recalled.
Another meeting on Jan. 19 for the same purpose was attended by Acaut leaders: (the then) Chairman Joel Naga, the two co-chairman Dr. Khekugha Muru and Tia Longchar, and three other members, it stated. “At the meeting it was resolved to attend the meeting called by the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum (NJCF) at Kohima on the 22nd January.

“…the NJCF meeting resolved to form a committee represented by all the participants, and later on in a separate press release, the committee fixed a meeting on the 25th January at Hotel Japfu, Kohima, where the decision to form CCNTHCO was formally taken. Given these sequence of events it is evidently clear that the ACAUT participation in the CCNTHCO was mandated and therefore the question of ACAUT members participating in their individual capacity does not arise.”

It was “unbecoming, un-Naga and unprincipled” on the part of those “few Acaut individuals” to retract their commitment made with the “church, NJCF, apex tribal bodies, mass-based organisations, civil society organizations and the negotiating groups.”

According to them, the “uncalled for emergency meeting in a span of few hours, that too, not at the ACAUT’s designated office and making arbitrary decisions and demeaning members of ACAUT with fabricated accusations and lies is nothing short of backstabbing and against the principle of ‘All for one, one for all’”.

It has called for an Acaut general meeting comprising advisors on Feb. 14 at 1 pm at Acaut designated office to discuss the issue. “It is also appealed that till consensus is arrived and issues resolved at the general meeting, there should be no press releases, activities or representation in any forums or meetings by any member in the name of ACAUT. The resignation of the two ACAUT leaders will only be decided after the hard copy of the resignation letter is tabled at the general meeting,” it informed.

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