NSCN Piles Pressure For Release Of Arrested Member

Comments Off on NSCN Piles Pressure For Release Of Arrested Member 412

LOOKEAST REPORT

The NSCN(I-M) is piling huge pressure on the Indian government to secure release of a member who was arrested by customs officials in Delhi airport four days ago with a five pistol-conversion carbine units. They have pushed Chief Minister Neipheu Rio to take up the matter with the Union Home Ministry without any delay.

It is not clear whether this could affect the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talks.

Delhi’s Naga talk’s interlocutor R N Ravi was not willing to comment, but NSCN sources said this might affect negotiations in a way the arrest of Anthong alias Nikkhang Shimray did.

The arrested NSCN man is a ‘colonel’ but his identity is not yet known. It is suspected he was bringing the convertor as a sample, on the basis future procurement could be finalised.

 

Arrested NSCN man is a ‘colonel’ but his identity is not yet known. It is suspected he was bringing the convertor as a sample, on the basis future procurement could be finalised

 

The 45-year-old, whose name was not shared with the media, was arrested after he landed in New Delhi from Bangkok on Thursday night, senior customs officials confirmed on condition of anonymity.

“We had information that he might be carrying contraband. He was stopped and nothing suspicious was found in the hand baggage. His registered baggage was scanned and the converters along with several other accessories which help improve the accuracy of fire arms were recovered,” said a customs officer.

Anthony Shimray

Senior customs officials added that while no weapons were recovered from the accused, the equipment seized from him is used to convert a small gun into range firing weapon and allows multiple firing.

The passenger had purchased the converters in Bangkok and since it is not illegal to carry these in registered or check-in luggage, he had no problems at the embarkation point.

The customs official said the person had frequently travelled between Bangkok and India, but usually landed in Kolkata. It isn’t clear whether this was his first attempt to bring in converters.

Government officials’ familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that the arrest might complicate the equation Central government has with the insurgent group,

The BJP government in 2015 signed a framework agreement for the Naga peace deal with the NSCN-IM. Recently, the government found itself at loggerheads with NSCN-IM after the insurgent group endorsed a call given by civil society of Nagaland to boycott state elections. The arrest has therefore put the Intelligence Bureau, the National Investigation agency and the customs department in a tight spot.

“The state IB unit was informed about the incident and officials are currently communicating with the customs department to gather further information,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

An NIA official confirmed that the arrested person belongs to NSCN-IM but refused to give out his name or current designation in the group.

 

4 RONI G1 pistol-carbine conversion units, 1 RONI B (Beretta M9/92FS) pistol-carbine conversion unit, 2 L-3 EoTech holographic weapon sight along with some other equipment’s were recovered. The items have been seized under customs and arms act and the passenger has been arrested

 

In a press statement Amandeep Singh, additional commissioner of customs said the accused has been booked under the Arms and Customs act.

“Four RONI G1 pistol-carbine conversion units, one RONI B (Beretta M9/92FS) pistol-carbine conversion unit, two L-3 EoTech holographic weapon sight along with some other equipment’s were recovered. The items have been seized under customs and arms act and the passenger has been arrested,” the statement read.

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju was not immediately reachable for comment. A similar arrest that of Anthony Shimray in 2010, had impacted adversely on India-Naga peace talks.

Shimray had been the head of NSCN-IM’s foreign affairs when was arrested in Nepal’s Kathmandu in September 2010 allegedly for negotiating an arms deal with a Chinese company, and lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on charges of gunrunning and trying to wage war against India.

The NSCN and Naga rights groups extensively lobbied for his release and Shimray was finally released on bail in 2016.

Later in 2017, ‘Lieutenant General’ Anthony Ningkhan Shimray was made the ‘longvibu’ or Commander-in-Chief of the Naga army.

Shimray, a 56-year-old Tangkhul Naga from Manipur’s Ukhrul district, replaced Phungthing Shimrang, who was formerly the convenor of the ceasefire monitoring cell. The NSCN-IM did not specify the removal of Shimrang, also a Tangkhul from Manipur. The outfit’s general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah belongs to the same tribe too. ■

Similar articles