TODAY -

MHA order NIA probe; Joy suspects Govt-IM rapport
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, October 01 2021: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has instructed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take charge of the investigation into the abduction of Athuan Abonmai from Polo Ground, Tamenglong headquarters and subsequent killing by suspected NSCN-IM cadres on September 22.According to an order notified by MHA under-secretary Sitish Kumar, Lamphel police station registered an FIR over the abduction of Athuan Abonmai from Polo Ground by suspected NSCN-IM cadres on September 22 at around 11.20 am.

Abonmai's body was later discovered in the afternoon, following which the case was transferred to Tamenglong police station and additional Sections were inserted.

A report was made to the centre that the accused people in the case were affiliated with a terrorist gang and were collecting funds for terrorist activities to disrupt the peace in the state.

The initial inquiry hinted at the possibility that the culprits were cadres of proscribed NSCN-IM and as such, Section 16, 17 and 20 of UA (P) Act, 1967 were inserted into the FIR.

As the incident concerned some schedule of the National Investigation Agency, 2008, the centre directed the Agency to investigate the case, the order said.

It may be mentioned here that police have recovered a hammer suspected to be have been used in committing the crime by the suspected NSCN (IM) cadres along with a partially burnt Maruti Gypsy with Nagaland registration number.

On top of this, a team of Imphal West Commando also apprehended two people suspected to be involved in the crime from separate places in the district.

Meanwhile, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesperson ex-MLA Okram Joy has questioned the authority of the state government over NSCN-IM and enquired if the government is under the outfit.

Addressing a press meet at his Kakwa residence here on Friday, O Joy said that the assassination of Zeliangrong leader Athuan Abonmai has a conspiracy and it reflects politics, integrity issue and a nefarious agenda of divide and rule policy.

He said that chief minister N Biren is the head of the unified command of security forces and NSCN-IM is an armed organisation engaged in peace talks with the Government of India under a certain set of ground rules.

The state government is closely working with the Central government but the authority of the state government over NSCN-IM is questionable.

Considering its inability to remove the numerous camps of NSCN-IM in the state, one can say that the government has an understanding with the outfit.

After his abduction from the Tamenglong public ground around 11.30 am on September 22, Athuan Abonmai's body was found about 26 km away from the site of abduction around 6 pm, he pointed out.

He then questioned why no rescue operation was carried out despite having top police officials, IGP, SP and central security forces in the district.

He also asked if police would remain silent if the criminals had abducted the CM instead of Abonmei.

The incident has shown the failure of the state government under chief minister N Biren, he maintained, while adding that the government should take up stringent measures to confine the ceasefire with NSCN-IM only to Nagaland.

On the other hand, both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister have not expressed any condolences or condemnation so far though the BJP is sending many of its leaders and union ministers to the state for the forthcoming election.

Congress could raise the demand for NIA investigation but the party does not believe that entrusting the central agency could bring any positive impact.

It was a bold step for the CM to apologise for his government's failure but it would be appreciable if he resigns from his post during the course of the investigation, the veteran politician said and also questioned the reason behind not suspending SP and DC of Tamenglong.


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