NSCN-IM bank loot plan foiled

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 7.05.09

Guwahati, May 7: Police today claimed to have foiled a plan to loot a bank in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh by the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).

The army and Dhemaji police, in a joint operation, apprehended a self-styled sergeant major of the NSCN (I-M), Yomjum Gongo, from Lakhipathar in Dhemaji district of Assam, bordering Arunachal Pradesh, last night. They found an M20 pistol on him.

Gongo told interrogators that he and four other cadres of the outfit were planning to rob the Rural Bank at Kamba, about 20km from Aalo, the district headquarters of West Siang.

The bank’s Kamba unit has a staff of four and an average annual transaction of Rs 2 to 3 crore.

Dhemaji superintendent of police Satyaraj Hazarika said Gongo was an Arunachalee from Chiloni basti in West Siang district, bordering Dhemaji district. He had joined the NSCN (I-M) in 2006 and was trained at Camp Hebron, the general headquarters of the NSCN (I-M) located near Dimapur.

“He was sent on the bank robbery mission along with a few other Arunachalee youths, who are also NSCN (I-M) cadres,” he added.

“We have informed our Arunachal Pradesh counterparts in this regard,” the SP said, adding that Gongo was also wanted in several other cases in Assam.

“He was behind the attack on a group of security personnel in Dhemaji a few months ago.”

He said Gongo had told interrogators that he was also monitoring the outfit’s recruitment drive in West Siang.

According to Hazarika, many youths from West Siang have recently joined the outfit and received training at Camp Hebron. “The recruitment process is still on,” he added.

“We are expecting to get more information about the Naga militant outfit’s plan in Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Assam,” Hazarika said.

Arunachal Pradesh has apprised the Centre about the NSCN (I-M)’s increased activity in the state —setting up of base on its territory and helping tribals to form a rebel army.

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Mukut Mithi cautioned New Delhi that if the activities of the Isak-Muivah group, which is under a ceasefire agreement with the Centre, were not checked, the peaceful state would turn into a haven for the Naga militant outfit.

Both factions of the NSCN, Isak-Muivah and Khaplang, have set up a strong base in Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Myanmar, and are running an extortion racket there.

The NSCN had serves an extortion notice of Rs 6 million to Oil India Limited a decade ago, following which the company suspended its operations at Khumsai oil well in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.