NEW DELHI: A top operative of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K)insurgent outfit was on Monday arrested from outside India Habitat Centre here, where he had come to meet his group members.
The anti-terror unit of Delhi Police-- Special Cell-- nabbed the accused identified as Ngamsinlung Panmei following a tip-off from Manipur Police. He is suspected to be behind an ambush on an Army convoy, in Manipur’s Chandel district on June 4, in which 18 soldiers were killed and 11 others injured. “Five mobile handsets with seven SIM cards and one laptop used for communicating with members of NSCN (K) were recovered from the arrested insurgent,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan.
Panmei was self-styled Health Minister cum political adviser of NSCN(K) and the so- called parallel government of Peoples Republic of Nagaland. Panmei had arrived here in the first week of July and was staying at a rented house at Mahipalpur.
Before coming here, Panmei had gone to Taga in Myanmar in March to meet NSCN(K) president S S Khaplang, a most wanted insurgent.
During interrogation, Panmei told the police that offices of many illegal outfits like UNLF, PLA, KYKL, and Ulfa are situated in the neighbourhood of Khaplang’s residence in Taga. The police is grilling him to ascertain the identity of the assailants behind the attack on Army personnel in which 18 soldiers were killed.
NSCN(K) claims to have its so-called government in Nagaland by the name of Government of People’s Republic of Nagaland, headed by Khaplang. Panmei was motivated by Zelulie, an NSCN (Khaplang) operative to join the terrorist outfit in 1997. He was assigned the task of collection of military intelligence in Zeliangrong area. He got many cadre of rival faction NSCN (Issac Muivah) arrested by police to decimate them on the directions of NSCN (Khaplang) top brass.
Panmei is now NSCN-K’s self-styled Health Minister and he has been entrusted with the task of motivating the cadre to indulge in extortion of money from contractors, businessmen and government employees on a regular basis. The outfit collects a fixed percentage of its earnings from them as tax and the said money is divided among the cadre. The money is also used to procure illegal arms from Myanmar and carry out cadre recruitments and training.
During interrogation, Pamnei revealed a few attacks executed recently.
He owned the responsibility of the May 3 killing of eight Assam Rifles personnel and a Naga Territorial Army soldier in two separate ambushes. The outfit also claimed to be behind the May 13 firing on Assam Rifles personnel in Nagaland and the ambush of a foot patrol using IEDs.
The fire exchange between, Assam Rifles and NSCN-K in Nagaland two days later and the ambush of a military convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment, killing 18 Army personnel and injuring 11 others in Manipur on June 4 was also their work, he said.
He also confirmed the outfit’s role in the firing at1 Assam Rifles camp at Lazu in Tirap, Arunachal Pradesh, on June 7 and the blast attempt in Longding two days later.