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NIA seeks US help on rebels

- Agency wants web details of PLA

Guwahati, Dec. 20: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought help from the US government to obtain information about the gmail accounts of top leaders of CPI (Maoist) and Manipur’s Peoples Liberation Army.

An official source said the premier anti-terror probe agency has written to the US government through proper channels, seeking information about email communications of one Maoist leader and four PLA leaders arrested by the NIA. “The NIA is waiting for a response from the US government,” he added.

The NIA has made the request under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between India and the US in 2001. It has written to the American government because gmail, a webmail service provided by Google, has its headquarters in California in the US.

The source said the accused persons whose email accounts the NIA wants to examine are Maoist leader from Bengal Indranil Chanda alias Raj, the PLA’s external affairs department’s self-styled chief N. Dilip Singh alias Wangba, assistant chief Senjam Dhiren Singh, liaison officer Kh. Arnold Singh and top PLA operative Asem Ibotombi Singh alias Angou.

Chanda, who hails from Kalna in Bengal’s Burdwan district, was arrested in Calcutta on April 21 this year, Dilip and Dhiren were arrested from Lodhi Colony in south Delhi in October 2011, Arnold was apprehended from Siliguri in April 2012 and Ibotombi from Ganjam district in Odisha in May 2012.

The information sought from the US will not only help in investigation and prosecution of the accused, but will also help establish a link between Maoists and the PLA.

The source said the NIA is investigating the alleged nexus between the Maoists and the PLA under a case (number 1/2011) registered at its branch in Guwahati.

He said NIA probe had revealed that in or around November 2008, Pallab Borbora alias Praful, an alleged member of CPI (Maoist), had received funds from the outfit to purchase vehicles. “He purchased a truck and a Tata Sumo to transport arms and ammunition of the Maoists.” Borbora, who was arrested from Golaghat district of Assam in June this year, is a close associate of CPI (Maoist) central committee and politburo member, Alok, he added.

He said Borbora got the two vehicles registered in the name of Ghanshyam Saikia to avoid detection. In or around December 2009, on the instructions of Chanda, Borbora went to Dimapur in Nagaland and handed over the Tata Sumo (AS-05/B-0998) to Dhiren and Arnold to bring arms and ammunition from Imphal.

“Dhiren and Arnold took the Tata Sumo to Imphal and loaded arms and ammunition on it. But due to tight security on the Imphal-Dimapur route, they could not transport the consignment to Dimapur,” he said. The NIA seized the Tata Sumo from Borbora’s house in Golaghat district after the PLA leader told interrogators about it following his arrest.

Borbora, on behalf of the Maoists, had also received a consignment of communication equipment in Guwahati in September 2010, he added.

“The consignment, which comprised two wireless sets, three satellite phones and 15 two-way radio sets, was sent by PLA from Manipur. Borbora later dispatched the consignment to a Maoist cadre in Bengal,” he added.