Even as the center’s efforts to iron out roadblocks in peace talks with northeastern insurgent group NSCN (IM) continue, the Indian military and its operational deputy Assam Rifles who have been implicated. in the counterinsurgency were urged to step up operations against armed members of the NSCN (IM) and dismantle their camps in neighboring states of Nagaland that do not fall under the ceasefire agreement.
Last Wednesday, a fierce encounter broke out between suspected NSCN (IM) insurgents and security forces in the Tamenglong district of Manipur.
According to Manipur police sources, one NSCN (IM) insurgent was killed and three were wounded in the clash in a forest. This forest area is 12 km south of Khoupum police station in Tamenglong district and a large NSCN (IM) camp was operational in the area, police sources said. The Assam Rifles have now dismantled the camp. The region is mainly populated by the Rongmei tribe.
Operation Tamenglong is of particular significance as Assam rifles and Nagaland police in July arrested an extortion racket allegedly operated by the NSCN (IM) in Nagaland’s commercial capital, Dimapur, and arrested the top NSNC leader. (IM) Rayilung Nsarngbe and his two associates on July 5.
Rayilung is an assistant to NSCN General Secretary (IM) Thuingaleng Muivah, added police sources from Nagaland’s capital Kohima.
At that time, security forces reportedly found Rs 1.59 crore in cash and 2 kg of RDX explosive along with a large number of firearms and ammunition at another NSCN (IM) leader.
This case is now being handled by the National Investigation Agency as part of its investigation into terrorist financing cases. Investigation so far has revealed that an Indian administrative service agent in Manipur, allegedly involved in a financial transaction, was being misappropriated from government funds and central projects in Manipur and Nagaland.
Sources from Assam Rifles said more Tamenglong-type operations would be carried out against other NSCN (IM) hideouts in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, where NSCN (IM) camps are illegal because the ceasefire -the fire does not extend there.