NIA arrests PLA member from Odisha

NIA arrests PLA member from Odisha

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team arrested a member of the Manipur-based People Liberation Army (PLA), identified as Ebatambi Asem, from Gopalpur town in Ganjam district of Odisha, in a late night raid on Monday. He was flown to New Delhi on Tuesday for interrogation.

Asem, who heads the external affairs cell of the banned outfit, tried in vain to hoodwink his captors by faking his identity, police said. An identity card bearing the name A V Sharma was recovered from his possession.

However, he failed in his bid to flummox the NIA officers, who had been keeping a tab on his whereabouts along with the local police and was arrested. Sources said intelligence agencies in the country were monitoring Asem for his scrupulous activities in India and abroad, including Myanmar, Nepal and China.

On remand

Asem was placed before a local court in Ganjam on Monday night itself, following which NIA took him on remand.

The police declined to divulge any information on why Asem was there in Gopalpur,  which has a training school of the Indian Army, besides being a popular tourist hub.

According to locals, Asem was there to meet a Manipuri woman employed at the local Geologiocal Survey of India office. The woman, who has a daughter, was transferred to Odisha few years back, they added.

 “During preliminary interrogation, Asem said the woman was his wife. However, we are trying to ascertain her actual identity and whether Asem was there on some special mission,” said a source in the state home department here.

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