Imphal, July 15: At least eight members of autonomous district councils (ADCs) are on the hit list of the NSCN (I-M) and the Manipur government has taken steps for their security, deputy chief minister Gaikhangam told the state Assembly today.
“We have received intelligence inputs that the names of eight members (of ADCs) are on the hit list of the NSCN (I-M). Security measures have been taken,” Gaikhangam, also the home minister, said.
The killing of Ukhrul ADC member Ngalangzar Malue, allegedly by the NSCN (I-M), figured prominently on the agenda of the House today when Opposition Trinamul Congress member I. Ibohalbi Singh called the attention of the House to unlawful activities of the group.
Mulue was killed in an ambush on Saturday in Ukhrul district while he was visiting his ailing mother.
“We have provided security to the official quarters of the members. We have also instructed them that if they have to be on any tour or visit their homes in the hills we will give them security cover,” Gaikhangam said.
He warned that the government would take tough measures if the Naga group continued to target innocent people. “Holding peace talks with the Centre does not mean that they have the licence to kill. The government has been restraining itself because the NSCN (I-M) is holding peace talks with the Centre. They better realise that killings will not bring any solution to their problem,” he said.
Since 1980, the Naga militant group has killed more than 100 people, including former chief minister Yangma-sho Shaiza, Gaikhangam said.
The NSCN (I-M) is against the constitution of the autonomous district councils. Because of the threats to the members of the councils from the Naga group, the members were functioning from Imphal, he said.
Giving a report on the progress of the police investigation in the killing of Malue, he said all the eight arrested a day after the killing were cadres of the NSCN (I-M).
“They are now in police custody. They will be interrogated at the joint interrogation cell (of the police, army, Assam Rifles and other central agencies). We will soon know the cadres involved in the killing and catch them,” Gaikhangam said.
The cadres were arrested from the outfit’s tactical headquarters at Phungreithang in Ukhrul town. Some bombs, ammunition, wireless sets and incriminating documents were recovered, he said.
Police also rescued six youths, illegally confined at the tactical headquarters by the cadres. The eight cadres had been staying at the headquarters for more than 10 years. In a related development, the United Naga Council called a 24-hour bandh in all the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur from midnight tonight to protest deployment of state forces in Ukhrul town in the wake of Malue’s killing.
Gaikhangam said 250 police commandos, three companies of the IRB and 100 policewomen were rushed from the valley to Ukhrul town to assist in investigations into the killing and track down the culprits.