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Friday, March 24, 2023

NIA file chargesheet against 5 NSCN (IM) cadres in extortion case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed chargesheet in Special Court in Nagaland against five cadres of Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in an extortion case.

NIA sources said that the case was related to the recovery of around Rs 1.59 crore along with illegal arms, ammunition, explosives and incriminating documents from the residential premises of self-styled Col. Rayilung Nsarangbe of NSCN (IM) and his wife Ruth Chawang.

The chargesheeted accused are, self-styled Private LamciIralu, Zingshongam Muinao and Ramningle Pame besides self-styled Col. Rayilung Nsarangbe and Ruth Chawang.

“The investigation of the case has revealed a well-organised extortion racket by NSCN (IM) involving criminal intimidation of various companies undertaking road construction projects in Manipur,” an NIA press statement said.

It said : “The developmental funds of the government have been illegally diverted in an organised manner and collected by NSCN(IM) operatives through extortion by committing terrorist act punishable under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UA (P) Act).”

“Investigation further revealed that NSCN (IM) also laundered the proceeds of terrorism into various financial instruments and real estate investments in the process of layering of the extorted fund.”

The NIA release also said that accused Ramningle Pame is an elected member of Manipur’s Autonomous Council of District Taemnglong and has been assisting NSCN (IM) in collection of the extortion amount demanded by them. The chargesheet was filed against the five NSCN (IM) cadres under section 120B of Indian Penal Code, UA (P) Act, the Explosive Substance Act, Arms Act, Nagaland Security Regulation, Passport Act and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act.

The dominant group of the Naga outfit – NSCN-IM – had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the central government in August 1997 and since then engaged in peace talks. The outfit has held around 80 rounds of negotiations with the Central government in Delhi and even outside Bharat after signing a ceasefire pact 23 years ago.

The central government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed a “framework agreement” with the NSCN-IM in 2015.

The NSCN-IM and the intelligence sources said that while many of the 31 demands of the Nagas have been almost resolved during the talks with the Centre, differences remain over a separate flag and a separate constitution. Nagalim, a long-pending demand of the NSCN-IM for a separate Naga state, encompasses the Naga-inhabited areas of Myanmar as well as parts of the northeastern states bordering Nagaland.

Nagaland Governor and the central government’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks R.N. Ravi has recently rejected the demand for a separate flag and constitution for the state as demanded by the NSCN (IM).

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style guide.)

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