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NIA to investigate Manipur ambush

NIA to investigate Manipur ambush

The Centre has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the massacre of armymen in Manipur even as security establishment felt the attack was carried out by insurgents who are getting help from a foreign country.

Though officials did not point fingers at the “foreign country” for aiding the attack, they said the insurgents were getting shelter and other aid from them.

With the Army launching a massive operation in Manipur to flush out militants, the security officials in New Delhi believe that the attack was carried out by NSCN (Khaplang) and other allied outfits like People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) among others.

They believe NSCN(K) operative Starson Lamking led the ambush. Sources said NSCN(K) had decided not to extend the ceasefire agreement with India last month following instructions from a foreign country.

A senior Home Ministry official said Home Secretary L C Goyal has ordered the NIA to probe the incident as it has cross-border connections.

The security establishment believes that NSCN(K) played a prominent role in the attack as it has a strong presence in Chandel district of Manipur besides having the kind of heavy fire power which was used in the ambush. Also, the incident took place around 60 km from the Indo-Myanmar border, and the NSCN(K) has several camps across the boundary.

The ambush also raised questions about Army’s preparedness in dealing with such a situation. Initial reports from Manipur, the official said, showed that there was intelligence inputs about of NSCN(K) militants in the area.

After walking out of the ceasefire agreement, the NSCN(K) was trying to make its presence felt in the area and it had carried out an attack on security personnel in Arunachal Pradesh on April 4 and another on Assam Rifles personnel in Nagaland on May 4. In the first incident, four soldiers were killed while in the second attack, eight were killed.

The Army will have to face serious questions during the inquiry into the incident whether its personnel violated the Standard Operating Procedure.

Officials said the attack showed that the insurgents were waiting for the soldiers for some time.

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