"Acting on a tip off, a joint team of army and local police raided a DHD-J rebels’ hideout at Thana Lambra in North Cachar Hills district and unearthed the sophisticated weapons on Friday night,” a police official told reporters. The district is 300 km south of Assam's main city Guwahati.
According to the official, the recovery of 48 weapons was made possible following interrogation of arrested DHD-J self-styled commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai, who was arrested from India-Nepal border by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials last week.
The arms and ammunition, which were buried in the jungle, included 28 AK-47 assault rifles, eight Self Loading Rifles (SLRs), five M-16 rifles, two M-21 rifles, three pistols, one locally improvised rifle and a grenade launcher.
Hojai and his associates were, meanwhile, brought before a local court here on Friday over the multi-crore North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) scam and were remanded to 14 days police custody.
The NIA was entrusted with the investigation of the scam after the Assam Police arrested two DHD-J rebels in April last year with Rs.1 crore in cash and weapons. The rebels, Phojendra Hojai and Babul Kemprai, told police that the cash was handed over to them by Mohit Hojai, chief executive member of the NCHAC.
The NIA was looking for Niranjan Hojai since he went missing for the past two months from a camp set up by the Assam government in the North Cachar Hills district, where Hojai and cadres of the DHD-J are required to stay under the suspension of operations agreement signed by the outfit with the Assam government.