Arunachal MLA Killing Case: NSCN-IM Leader Apprehended along Assam-Nagaland Border; Cash, Arms Recovered

A brigadier of the Assam Rifles said that based on specific information, a joint operation of the Indian Army, Assam Rifles and Assam Police was carried out on Sunday, following which the NSCN(IM) leader Anok Wangsa was nabbed.

Guwahati: Security forces on Sunday detained a Naga insurgent leader believed to have been involved in the murder of Tirong Aboh, the sitting MLA of Arunachal Pradesh, ahead of the elections. The apprehended rebel was identified as Anok Wangsa, an area commander of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) faction.

Brigadier SK Sheoran of Assam Rifle (Sector 7) told News18, “Wangsa is an aide of self-styled major general Absolom Tangkhul of the NSCN (IM), believed to be behind the killing of Aboh.”

“The arrest of the NSCN (IM) area commander of the Longding-Charaideo-Mon region is a major breakthrough. Based on specific information, a joint operation of the Indian Army, Assam Rifles and Assam Police was carried out on Sunday, following which Wangsa was nabbed,” Brigadier Sheoran added.

The militant leader had revealed during interrogation that he had hidden more weapons, ammunition and other equipment in his house located near the Assam-Nagaland border, following which a raid was conducted, Sheoran said.

A large cache of arms and ammunition, including an AK-56 Rifle and pistols, and cash worth Rs 5 lakh were recovered. “The rebel leader’s capture has been welcomed by locals of the districts of Mon (Nagaland), Longding (Arunachal Pradesh) and Charaideo (Assam),” the brigadier added.

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is probing Aboh’s murder recently come across a recorded telephonic conversation between a worker of the National People’s Party (NPP) and an unidentified militant of the NSCN-IM.

A senior official told News18 the phone call was allegedly made to an NPP worker, Noknyiam Nokbi, from Khonsa, by the unidentified person who claimed to be an NSCN (IM) leader. “In the taped conversation, the militant is heard threatening the NPP worker to stop spreading words against the NSCN (IM) or face dire consequences,” the official said.

The caller is heard telling Nokbi not to lead or organise any meeting where the now-slain Khonsa West MLA and or his supporters would speak against the outfit. He is also heard talking about Jalin Hakhun, who was one of the 11 people, including Aboh, killed by insurgents in an ambush near Bogapani in Tirap district on May 21.

Hakhun was the president of the Dadam Area Youth Association and was actively campaigning for Aboh ahead of the assembly election in the state. The threat call to Nokbi was allegedly made late in March and a few days later, two NPP workers were attacked by suspected NSCN (IM) militants at Kheti village in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh. One of them, an NPP worker, Jaley Anna, was beaten to death.