Kohima, May 31 : The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has stated the president of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) seeking anticipatory bail, even if no police complaint had been lodged against him, speaks about his “guilt in uttering communal statements” during the Lok Sabha bye-election campaign.
In a statement, the NDPP clarified about the party taking recourse following the reported ‘communal’ statements of NPF chief Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu. The party referred to the opposition accusing the NDPP and the BJP of having filed an FIR ordering the arrest of Liezietsu for “giving an inflammatory speech at an election rally held at Kohima”.
“The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) is not vindictive in any manner, but we have only complained to the Election Commission of India on the grounds that the NPF president has tried to influence voters on the grounds of religion and we have asked the appropriate authority to ensure justice as per the law,” the party stated. “The president knows very well what he uttered and his taking anticipatory bail speaks volume of his guilt,” it further added.
The NDPP-BJP did not file an FIR, the press release clarified. The party stated that it had only lodged complaints with the returning officer and the Election Commission that Liezietsu had violated section-3 of the Election Model Code of Conduct, section-125 of the Representation of Peoples Act of 1951, and section-153 A of the Indian Penal Code.
Further, the NDPP took note that Liezietsu had been claiming his statement to be one he made to “protect Article 25 of the Constitution of India on the freedom of religion”. This is unfounded, the NDPP stated. The reason the NDPP gave was that section-1 of Article 25 of the Constitution states a rider with the freedom: ‘Freedom of Conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion is ‘subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.’
The NDPP-BJP stated that it does not refute or challenge what has been laid down in the constitution. However, it explained, since the by-election was announced, the Model Code of Conduct came into effect across Nagaland besides the provisions of the RPA coming in force.