NSCN-IM leader arrested in Arunachal MLA killing case

NSCN-IM leader arrested in Arunachal MLA killing case

The arrests were made in connection with the killing of Arunachal MLA Tirong Aboh (DH Photo)

An 'area commander' of NSCN-IM, a Nagaland-based militant group was arrested by security forces on Monday for his alleged involvement in the May 20 killings of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA and 10 others.

A joint team of Assam Rifles, army and the state police arrested Anok Wangsa, from a vehicle at Namtola-Jampan area along Assam-Nagaland border in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district.

“The apprehended individual is the deputy of self-styled Major General Absolom Tangkhul of NSCN (IM), who is believed to be involved in the killing of Arunachal Pradesh MLA Tirong Aboh. He confirmed that he had hidden more weapons, ammunition and warlike stores in his house located on Assam–Nagaland border.

"The teams then carried out a detailed search of his house which resulted in the recovery of a large cache of arms, ammunition, including one AK-56 Rifle, many pistols and cash of more than Rs 5 lakh,” a statement issued by defence spokesperson based here, Lt Col P Khongsai said.

It said the arrest was welcomed by local residents in Longding (Arunachal), Mon (Nagaland) and Charaideo (Assam) districts as he was in charge of the outfit’s activities in the area.

Unidentified militants waylaid the convoy of MLA Aboh, his 20-year-old son and nine others and shot them dead between Khonsa-Deomali Road when they were on their way home from Assam. Two of his PSOs were also injured in the attack.

The massacre took place after the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections held on April 11. Aboh, who contested as an NPP candidate also won the elections, results of which were declared on May 23. The BJP won 41 of 60 seats while NPP came third with five seats.

The BJP government had handed over the case to the NIA soon after it took charge.

The NSCN-IM is in a ceasefire in Nagaland since 1997 and is likely to sign a final peace agreement soon. The arrest, however, is likely to anger the outfit, which is leading the longest armed conflicts.