NIA arrest Manipur MLA in missing arms case

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 24 | Publish Date: 8/24/2018 12:31:48 PM IST

Congress MLA from Manipur Yamthong Haokip, one of the 11 accused in the missing arms case was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday. 

He was produced before a special NIA court in Imphal and remanded to judicial custody for 15 days. 

NIA has been probing the case pertaining to theft of 56 pistols and 58 magazines from the Director General (Police) pool armoury located within the premises of 2nd Manipur Rifles Battalion, Imphal.  These weapons went missing between 2016 and early 2017.

“Yamthong Haokip was arrested today (August 24, 2018) for his involvement in procuring police pistols illegally and distributing them to different terrorist groups to wage war against the State,” the NIA said in the statement.

Earlier, the sitting legislator was arrested by a NIA team from New Delhi where he had gone for further medical treatment. Considering his medical condition, the court ordered Haokip to be admitted in the security ward of JNIMS hospital after complying necessary procedures.

In his prayer for granting judicial custody, the IO of the case accused Yamthong Haokip, the MLA of Saikul A/C of Kangpokpi district received several consignments of 9mm auto pistols missing from the 2nd MR garrison armoury.

He further accused the MLA of delivering some of the weapons to Ngamthang Haokip, another MLA from Saitu A/C of Churachandpur and David Hangshing, self styled chairman of Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).

“Custodian interrogation of the accused Yamthong Haokip is not required at the moment. However, NIA prays for reserving their rights to have police custody as and when required in terms of law,” the NIA counsel submitted in the court.

The counsel of the MLA while praying for bail, submitted that the accused was a sitting MLA and the accused suffered recent heart ailment and as he had voluntarily made available before the IO of the case, no question of absconding arise.

After hearing the submissions of both the counsels, the Special Judge (NIA) Manipur ordered a remand of 15 days judicial custody to the accused MLA while rejecting the bail prayer.

Meanwhile, NIA investigating team recovered nine more missing 9mm pistols during raid at the house of Commander-in-chief Soson Haokip of United Kuki Liberation Army (UKLF) in Imphal’s Mantripukhri on Thursday.

Haokip’s farm house at Palell in Chandel district was also raided by the NIA team, sources said. 

The NIA has recovered 14 weapons till date in the case and the investigation is continuing.

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