Assam Rifles seize 31 AK-47 rifles

Assam Rifles seize 31 AK-47 rifles

In one of the biggest arms haul in North-East India, para-military Assam Rifles seized 31 AK-47 rifles and other arms and ammunition in Mizoram. The arms were being smuggled to Bangladesh, officials said on Saturday.

Three people were also arrested in connection with the arms recovery near Lengpui airport in Mizoram, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Acting on a tip-off, the Assam Rifles troopers conducted raids in Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday and seized a large cache of weapons and ammunition. Ten people were apprehended, including one self-styled commander-in-chief of Dimasa National Liberation Force, a separatist outfit in Assam, an Assam Rifles official said. He said the state police and central intelligence officials have been interrogating the arrested people.

Mizoram superintendent of Police, (CID-Crime branch) Joseph Lalchhuana said 23 AK-47 rifles, a Browning automatic rifle, a light machine gun and a large cache of ammunition being routed from Myanmar to Bangladesh were seized from a small vehicle near Lengpui airport near Aizawl on Thursday.

Three people, including two residents of Tripura, were arrested along with the arms.

“After they were questioned, eight more AK-47 rifles and a large quantity of ammunition and some explosive materials were seized from a nearby place on Friday,” Lalchhuana told reporters at Aizawl.
The apprehended people were identified as Rabi Chakma, Sobuj Chakma and Moni Tripura. Two of them are from northern Tripura.

A team of Tripura police on Saturday left for Aizawl to get details about the arms recovery and arrests.

Four north-eastern states—Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam—share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, while Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar.

Most parts of the borders are unfenced and running through mountainous terrain and dense forests, making it porous and vulnerable and advantageous to terrorists and cross-border elements.

The India-Bangladesh border is manned by the Border Security Force while the India-Myanmar boundaries are guarded by the Assam Rifles.

Insurgent outfits in North-East India use jungle routes along the borders to sneak in arms and ammunition with the help of international arms smugglers. There have been instances in the past where security forces have intercepted arms consignments being carried to various separatist outfits of North-East through Mizoram.