IM time frame to Speaker, Ministers
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 07: Reiterating involvement of Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker TN Haokip, Works Minister Gaikhangam and Tribal Development Minister Ngamthang Haokip in the Lungnila Elizabeth murder case, the NSCN (IM) has given a one month time to the trio for a meeting with main accused Letsei Haokip alias James Kuki.

Speaking to newspersons at the office of Ceasefire Monitoring Cell at Dipupar, Dimapur today deputy kilonser of ministry of information and publicity of the NSCN (IM) Karaibo Chawang said failure on the part of the three elected representatives to clarify on the matter would be considered as guilty persons and accordingly booked under the outfit's rule.

The three are provided the chance to clarify on the charge and declare their respective position on the matter, he said.

Chawang said if they are booked under Naga customary law appropriate action will be initiated against the three while elucidating contrast between Indian and Naga customary law.

Necessary security arrangement will be made for safe travel of the Speaker and the two Ministers for the meeting with James Kuki and a press conference organised to maintain transparency, he informed.

On why the proof against the three not made public, the deputy kilonser cited hindrances likely to be caused to the ongoing investigation while charging that Ngamthang Haokip shared the booty collected by James who continued to issue extortion notes till 2003 despite leaving the KNF in 2002.Stopping short of describing Gaikhangam as an advisor to James, Chawang said second wife of the main accused in the murder case Athonliu introduced James to the Works Minister.

Claiming that Athonliu is also involved in all the criminal activities of James, Chawang mooted hatred against the activities of GAD Minister Francis Ngajokpa, who was a leader of a Naga organization during the Naga-Kuki clash as the main factor for the death of the innocent school girl.

Another factor may be to strain the healthy relation between the NSCN (IM) and Francis Ngajokpa, Chawang stated while not ruling out attempt to cause enmity between the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and Francis Ngajokpa at the behest of some Ministerial colleagues.

The third factor, besides instigation of some Ministers might be differences among the kidnappers regarding the ransom amount, added the deputy kilonser.

While denying that NSCN (IM) has no intention of politicizing the murder issue, Chawang said existence or toppling the SPF Government will not in any way benefit the organization nor does the question arise for targeting a particular community as the crime involves people belonging to the Meitei, Naga and Kuki community.

All involved in the murder case would be dealt with under the customary law according to intensity and degree of their respective role leading to the death of Lungnila Elizabeth, declared Chawang.

There is every possibility of unseen hand behind the murder mystery and the outfit has gathered enough evidence of a larger conspiracy, claimed Chawang.

He said assurances to hand over the case to the CBI is an eyewash as the SPF Govt had enough resources and substantial information to pin and punish the real culprit but intentionally delayed the process to delete evidences.

Attributing the prolonged process of NSCN (IM) investigation due to necessity of cross-examining confessions of James Kuki, Chawang said the probe has completed the halfway mark and would soon find out the truth for public awareness.

He further informed that another accused in the criminal case Ajoiliu of Peren sub-division in Nagaland and belonging to the Liangmei tribe is in the custody of the NSCN (IM).

The woman fluent in Tangkhul dialect was in Imphal when the Elizabeth incident took place.

Questioning on what ground the Manipur Government released suspects rounded up in connection with the case, Chawang further asserted that intense investigation against 3/4 persons released by the Govt is being conducted.

Probe is also on against another suspect identified as TA Shimray who has been released on NSCN (IM) 'bail' while the 5th MR personnel Inaobi is also under the outfit's scanner to find out his part in the murder case, he claimed.

Till date no formal intimation has been made either from Manipur of Central Government to hand over James, said Chawang while hastening to add the CFMC Chairman Gen Kulkarni has appraised the matter verbally.

The issue has been forwarded to general headquarters of the NSCN (IM) for necessary perusal, he said adding the second wife of James has delivered a baby boy while in the custody of the NSCN (IM) and husband-wife duo actively mulling name of their son.

Regarding the killing of van driver Ibomcha of Achanbigei, Chawang said the killing is preplanned with the kingpin Peter also involved in similar cases on earlier occasion.

He identified the murderer's accomplices as Sakpa and Kuba and added due to ongoing investigation and necessity of more concrete evidence degree of punishment cannot be announced for the time being.

As per intensity of their respective role proper punitive action would be initiated, Chawang assured.

After the press briefing a video footage of .interrogation of James Kuki was shown to the mediapersons wherein the accused identified himself as James alias Letkhosai Haokip alias Letsei Haokip.