Cadre of the Manipur Naga Peoples’ Front (MNPF) who was arrested on Saturday from Yaingangpokpi junction in Imphal East by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with an ambush on the convoy of an Assam Rifles officer in Manipur in 2021 was sent to jail on Tuesday (November 15).
The Special Judge (NIA), Manipur remanded him in 15-day judicial custody till November 29 after finding sufficient prima facie materials to show that the accused was involved in the 2021 ambush on Assam Rifles convoy.
Before the court, the public prosecutor of NIA submitted that in compliance to the order of the Union Home Affairs Ministry on November 26, 2021, the NIA, New Delhi re-registered the ambush case under section 121/121A/302/307/326 and 34IPC, section 10 and 20 UP(P) Act, section 25(1-C) Arms Act and section 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.
A team of security forces, including the Manipur police, NIA team and four Assam Rifles personnel arrested Machukring Zamshim Shimray alias Ningkham of New Cannon village in Ukhrul district, a wanted cadre of the Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), and was produced before the Special Judge (NIA), Manipur on Wednesday.
The arrested accused was taken into custody on November 5, 2022 by the NIA and was in NIA custody till November 6.
During the course of investigation, the accused disclosed and admitted his direct involvement in the ambush on the Assam Rifles and revealed the involvement of more leaders of the MNPF organisation.
As the investigation is at the initial stage, PP of NIA prayed for remanding the accused into judicial custody so as to enable the NIA to investigate the case properly.
However, the counsel of the accused prayed for releasing him on bail claiming he had no hands in the commission of the offence.
On November 13, 2021, the commanding officer of 46 Assam Rifles, Vivplap Tripathi, and his family, along with four Assam Rifles jawans, were killed after the convoy carrying the officer came under heavy attack by militants at Behiang in Churachandpur district of Manipur.
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The ambush occurred near S Sehken village under Behiang police station, close to the Indo-Myanmar border. Colonel Tripathi was reportedly returning to his base accompanied by his wife and six-year-old son from the Behiang company post when they were ambushed.
At least six jawans, including a havildar, driver of the CO, and three Quick Reaction Team members were also injured in the attack. Two insurgent groups – the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the MNPF – had claimed responsibility for the attack.
It may be mentioned that the NIA had announced a cash reward of Rs 4 lakh for information on Shimray, who, according to the probe agency, was an active member of the MNPF and was directly involved in the ambush in which seven people were killed.