China-Myanmar module of NSCN-IM helped banned outfits in Manipur: NIA

The faction conspired to attack Kuki-Zo people with weapons snatched away from government armouries

Updated - May 15, 2024 02:49 am IST

Published - May 14, 2024 09:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

‘Village volunteers’ stand guard at a bunker set up in conflict-hit Manipur. File

‘Village volunteers’ stand guard at a bunker set up in conflict-hit Manipur. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The National Investigation Agency has said in a chargesheet that the “China-Myanmar module” of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) supported the cadres of two banned Meitei outfits to infiltrate India in order to exploit the current ethnic unrest in Manipur with a larger goal to destabilise the State and wage a war against the Government of India.

The chargesheet filed in a Guwahati court on March 7 against five accused persons who were arrested in July last year in Manipur, said the accused “criminally conspired with intent to carry out violent terror attacks targeting the rival Kuki-Zo community with prohibited arms and ammunition”

Also Read | Manipur Commission of Inquiry into ethnic violence receives 11,000 affidavits

The Union government signed a ceasefire pact in 1997 with NSCN-IM leadership in India and a framework agreement to find a political solution was signed with the group in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. The group envisages a ‘Greater Nagaland’ to include all the Naga-dominated areas in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

M. Anand Singh (44), the main accused, was arrested last July along with A. Kajit Singh, Keisham Johnson, L. Michael Mangangcha and K. Romojit Meitei by Manipur Police while travelling in a vehicle dressed in camouflage attire resembling uniforms worn by security personnel.

Three weapons and ammunition looted from police armouries were recovered from their possession. The NIA registered a fresh case on July 19 under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections of law to probe the larger conspiracy.

Local youth recruited

The NIA said Mr. Anand Singh mobilised local youth for armed training to escalate the ethnic strife and in July 2023 participated in a weapons training camp organised in Selloi Langamai Ecological Park near Keikhu by PLA cadres where around 80-90 young men received training in handling firearms. “Singh assisted in imparting training on battle drills and jungle warfare to the participating youth,” the NIA stated.

The agency said the accused “criminally conspired with intent to carry out violent terror attacks targeting the rival Kuki-Zo community with prohibited arms and ammunition which were looted from various government sources.”

The agency said the criminal intent of targeting the rival community has been established and corroborated by the use of camouflage attire they were wearing “to evade detection by security personnel”.

The NIA said the accused wilfully violated prohibitory orders issued by the district administration “to spread hatred and enmity among the communities, escalate the ongoing ethnic strife, disturb peace and tranquility and to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.”

Ethnic violence between the tribal Kuki-Zo people and the majority Meitei community erupted in Manipur on May 3, 2023 which has claimed at least 221 lives so far and displaced over 50,000 people. More than 4,500 weapons were looted from police armouries and around 1,800 weapons have been recovered so far.

Infiltration bid

The Central agency said the “China-Myanmar” module of NSCN-IM based in Myanmar decided to extend support to banned terrorist organisations Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup (KYKL) and People’s Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM) to infiltrate their cadres into the Indian territory for carrying out terrorist attacks.

“For this purpose, NSCN-IM promised a safe passage along with arms, ammunition. explosives and other terrorist hardware to Manipur-based terrorist outfits and proscribed organisations. In addition, these outfits have also been tasked to identify, recruit and train impressionable youths and get them involved in the ongoing violence with the larger goal of destabilising the security situation in Manipur and to further wage a war against the Government of India,” the NIA added.

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