Senapati shut down over arrest of 5 NSCN (I-M) cadres

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Pothashang News Service: Imphal, March 19, 2020: Senapati district witnessed total shutdown for hours on Thursday following arrest of five NSCN (I-M) cadres on Wednesday.

Senapati  district frontal organisations consisting of Naga People’s Organisation, Senapati District Student’s Association and Senapati District Women’s Association had cautioned of serious public uproar and agitations if the arrested NSCN (I-M) cadres are not released within 12 hours, starting from Wednesday midnight.

As the demand was not fulfilled the organisations imposed total shut down at Senapati and its surrounding areas. A large number of people blocked vehicular movements in T-Khulen, Maram and Senapati Bazar areas along the Imphal-Dimapur Highway and also shut down all business establishments.

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The 34 Assam Rifles Maram Battalion, during routine checking intercepted a suspected TATA Sumo vehicle bearing registration number NL07C 4673 at the Mobile Vehicle Check Post, Paomata in Senapati district at around 12:15 pm of Wednesday.

The five persons travelling in the vehicles happened to be NSCN-IM cadres who were moving from NSCN-IM Camp of Hebron towards Ukhrul and apprehended at the spot.

The Assam Rifles troops recovered a total of Rs. 2,88,610 of unaccounted money which is likely to have been raised by the group through nefarious means by abetting grievous activities, 7 numbers of mobiles phones, aadhaar cards, voter ID and uniform/clothes from them, said an Assam Rifles source.

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It said there were no documents permitting the movement of cadres available with them.

Later the cadres were handed over to Sekmai Police station where a case was registered on Wednesday evening allegedly for causing unlawful activities and raising funds for the terrorist acts, the source said.

As the arrested NSCN (I-M) cadres were not released within the 12 hours ultimatum the organisations started to shut down all vehicular movements and bushiness establishment in Senapati and its surrounding areas around noon.

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The organisations questioned the ill-designed motives of Assam Rifles at the behest of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to arrest and harass 5 unarmed National workers (NSCN-IM cadres) without any charges at Paomata.

They said the unwanted and provocative arrest of the NSCN (I-)M cadres by 34 Assam Rifles at Paomata who were travelling without any arms or illegal items only manifests the anti-people attitude of Assam Rifles who claims to be friends of the hills.

The NSCN (I-M) cadres were granted bail after they were produced before Lamphel CJM Imphal East on Thursday afternoon.

The shut down was then called off.

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