Govt funds diverted to insurgent group NSCN (IM): NIA

Government funds diverted to insurgent group NSCN (IM): NIA

The NSCN (IM), which claims Nagas were never part of India, is in ceasefire with the government since 1997

An investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that that government funds meant for developmental purposes were diverted to NSCN (IM), a Naga insurgent group, which also extorted money from companies engaged in road construction projects in Manipur.

The agency said that this came to light during an investigation into a case filed after recovery of over Rs 1.58 crores and illegal weapons from the resident of Rayilung Nsarangbe of NSCN (IM) and his wife Ruth Chawang in February this year.

"The investigation of the case has revealed well organized extortion racket by NSCN (IM) involving criminal intimidation of various companies undertaking road construction projects in Manipur. The developmental funds of the government have been illegally diverted in an organised manner and collected by NSCN(IM) operatives through extortion by committing a terrorist act punishable under UA(P) Act," the NIA said in a statement, which was issued after it filed chargesheets against five accused in the case.

The NIA further added that the investigation 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. "Accused Ramningle Pame is an elected member of Autonomous Council of District Taemnglong, Manipur and has been assisting NSCN(IM) in the collection of the extortion amount demanded by them," said the statement.

The chargesheets were filed in the special NIA court at Dimapur against five accused--Rayilung Nsarangbe, LamciIralu, Zingshongam Muinao, Ruth Chawang, and Ramningle Pame, all NSCN (IM) members. 

The NSCN (IM), which claims Nagas were never part of India, is in ceasefire with the government since 1997. The outfit is in talks with the government for a final agreement to end the decades-old Naga conflict. But security agencies claim that the outfit was still carrying out "anti-social activities" like extortion even in Manipur.

The five accused have been charged under Section 120B of IPC, section 17,18 and 21 of the UA (P) Act, section 5 (b) of the Explosive Substance Act, Section 25 (1A) read with 35 of Arms Act, section 7 and 8 of Nagaland Security Regulation (NSR), Section 12 of Passport Act and Section 6 of Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act.