Chinese links to arms procured by Manipur terror group?

Guwahati: The National Investigation Agency has exposed a nexus between men of Chinese-origin and Manipur-based banned terror group United National Liberation Front (UNLF), alleging that the organisation was sourcing its arms from neighbouring countries through those people.

The agency also found during its investigation that members of UNLF were using satellite phones for extortion to avoid scrutiny of central security agencies and had expanded this business across Assam and Manipur.

"Investigation conducted by NIA has revealed that UNLF made some attempts to procure weapons with the help of some persons of Chinese origin," an official spokesperson said here today.

In its charge sheet against self-styled Chairman R K Meghen and 18 other members of UNLF before a special court, NIA accused them of waging war against the country, extortion and illegal purchase of sophisticated weapons from neighbouring countries bordering India.

The agency accused the members of raising funds by resorting to large-scale extortion from government as well as private bodies in Manipur.

"The National Investigation Agency…has established that these accused persons used to raise funds through extortion in Manipur and then transfer them to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar for purchase of sophisticated arms and ammunition to be used by UNLF," the spokesperson alleged.

Meghen is now in judicial custody. Most of the chargesheeted persons were staying under cover in Guwahati and furthering their cause by collecting money through extortion, the agency said.

The Assam Police had arrested them in a coordinated action through simultaneous searches across Guwahati on three different occasions and recovered items like pen drives, laptops, mobile phones carrying details of their working.

"In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the accused persons extensively used Internet connection, mobile phones and in some cases satellite phones also. Further evidence has been collected pertaining to the large-scale extortion conducted by the arrested accused persons in Manipur to raise funds for UNLF," the official said.

NIA conducted investigation of this case collecting evidence during last five months from different states like Assam, Manipur, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.