NIA probes couple’s murder

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  • Published 30.07.12

Guwahati, July 29: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has begun an investigation into the killing of a couple by suspected NSCN (I-M) cadres in Manipur’s Ukhrul district last year.

Varengam Shimray, 35, and his wife Ngaherla, 33, were killed at Lungpha village in Naga-dominated Ukhrul district on July 24 last year.

Later, the NSCN (I-M) had owned responsibility for killing the couple, claiming that Varengam was “involved in anti-Naga activities”.

This development assumed significance since the NSCN (I-M) is currently in a ceasefire with the government and its top leadership is holding talks with the Centre.

An official source said NIA’s Guwahati branch had started investigation into the killing on the Union home ministry’s directive.

“The NIA has recently taken up investigation of the case, which was initially registered at Phungyar police station in Ukhrul,” he said.

The NSCN (I-M) had accused Varengam of working with Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF) led by Allen alias Atai Siro. The MNRF is opposed to the NSCN (I-M)’s demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur in the proposed Nagalim.

According to the source, the NIA will try to bring everyone who is responsible for the killing to book irrespective of which organisation he belongs to.

The Centre has entrusted the country’s premier anti-terror agency to crack down on the subversive and anti-national activities being allegedly carried out by the NSCN (I-M) despite being in ceasefire with the government.

The NIA had arrested Anthony Shimray, a powerful NSCN member belonging to the outfit’s top leadership, in September 2010, for his alleged role in the purchase of huge quantity of arms and ammunition from abroad.

The NIA is also investigating the NSCN (I-M)’s alleged ambush on Independent MLA of Phungyar Assembly constituency in Manipur, Sh. Wungnaoshang Keishing, last year in Ukhrul district. As many as eight security personnel were killed and seven injured while the MLA had a narrow escape.

In August last year, Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh had accused the outfit of carrying out bomb blasts in Manipur, including the last year’s blasts at Khuman Lampak sports complex on 28 July and at the Sangakpham market in Imphal on August 1.