NIA to probe into Manipur missing arms case

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Imphal, March 31: (Newmai): National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to probe into the missing arms case of Manipur, in which 56 numbers of 9mm IA pistols disappeared from the from the well-guarded Arms Kote (PHQ Pool) of 2nd Battalion Manipur Rifles over a period of four years, Manipur chief minister, Biren Singh told reporters here on Saturday.
Singh said a the state government has sent a letter to NIA on Friday, after the incident came to light. “The matter relates to national security and a thorough investigation is required,” Singh said.
The incident came to light after 2nd MR Commandant P. Manjit examined the current holdings of arms and ammunitions of both the Unit and PHQ Pool, Singh said.
Singh, who also holds charge of the home department, further said that 56 auto 9 mm pistols along with 58 magazines were found missing from the state police headquarters – Arms Kote of 2nd Manipur Rifles, Imphal, — between 2014 and 2018.
The chief minister said that two employees of the 2nd MR were arrested on Friday in connection with the case. In 2016, four persons were arrested and one 9 mm auto pistol along with three magazines were seized from them which could be connected to the missing weapons case from the Arms Kote of 2nd MR, the chief minister also said.
Biren described the incident of missing of arms from the well-guarded Arms Kote (PHQ Pool) of 2nd Battalion Manipur Rifles as a serious threat to the national security.
During the examination, it could be ascertained that out of the total 570 auto 9 mm 1A pistols received from PHQ on September 11, 2014, 56 weapons along with 58 magazines were found missing, the Chief Minister said.
The chief minister said that there were incidents of taking up of cases in connection with missing of ammunition as well in the past.
Manipur deputy chief minister, Y Joykumar said that after a thorough discussion, the state government has chosen NIA as the most appropriate agency to investigate the case as it has expertise in militancy related cases. He expressed hope that the agency would minutely probe the incident.
Meanwhile, Imphal West SP, Themthing Ngashangva said that two personnel of the 2nd MR have been arrested in connection with the incident. They have been identified as Damodaran NP (Hav. No. 60985) and Narayan Chetry (Rfn. No. 0296004).
Recalling a past incident, the SP said that there was an incident of seizing a 9 mm pistol highly suspected to be one of the missing pistols from four persons along with three magazines and three rounds on November 4, 2016. The four persons have been identified as Paonam Shanti Kumar (48) s/o (L) P. Shamu of Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi Ningthoujam Leikai, Lourembam Johnson Singh alias John (31) s/o L. Basanta of Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi, M. Hiranjoy Sharma alias Ngoubi (32) s/o M. Haridas of Tera Sapam Leirak and Rfn. No. 6070197 Laishram Anilkumar Singh (33) s/o L. Ibomcha of Sangaiprou Mamang Leikai.
For further investigation, Hiranjoy and Shanti Kumar have been rearrested today (31/3/2018) while Anilkumar have been picked up and kept under watch at RIMS Hospital due to his poor medical condition, the SP informed. The SP further said that Anilkumar is currently under suspension.
Themthing further said that there was also another incident of seizing one of the missing pistols (Body No. 18506740) from a hardcore KRA cadre namely 2nd Lt. Ngamboi Haokip alias Raju (37) s/o (L) Doumang Haokip of Loibol Khunou Waroiching and his subordinate Seineo Khongsai (32) s/o Khaikham Khongsai of Pangmoul village in Senapati district. They were arrested in connection with an extortion case on August 13, 2017.
As such, Ngamboi Haokip was rearrested in connection with the case at around 5 am today (31/3/2018) for further investigation.
Themthing said that investigation of the case is in good progress. Five persons have so far been arrested for involvement and one 9 mm pistol has been identified. Another weapon seized on September 4, 2016 is under active examination as its body number has been found tampered beyond visibility, the SP said.

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