James Kuki in custody, IM acknowledges
We are looking into the matter carefully, says Phungthing Shimrang

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 12: It is now official.

The king pin in the kidnapping and killing of 8 year old Lungnila Elizabeth, James Kuki alias Letsei Haokip alias Semboi is in the custody of the NSCN (IM).

Confirming this, NSCN convenor of the Cease Fire Monitoring Cell, Phungthing Shimrang in a telephonic conversation with The Sangai Express this evening said that they have received information that James Kuki is in the custody of the outfit.

Shimrang said that the NSCN (IM) is trying to establish the facts and the involvement of James Kuki in the gruesome crime.

"We are looking into the matter carefully," said the NSCN (IM) leader.

The NSCN (IM) CFMC convenor however scotched talks that the king pin has been handed over to the Cease Fire Monitoring Cell adding that neither the Government of Nagaland nor Manipur have approached them to hand over the accused.

Phungthing Shimrang also said that there has been no official intimation from the Ministry of Home Affairs till date.

As reported in The Sangai Express on the January 12 edition, the accused was captured from Burma Camp at Dimapur along with his wife Athonliu.

When The Sangai Express contacted the spokesman of the SPF Government and Works Minister Gaikhangam on what steps the State Government has taken to get their hands on the main accused, he said that no intimation has been sent to either the Union Home Ministry or the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell to hand over the accused to the State Government as till date no official statement has come out that the accused is in the hands of the NSCN (IM).

To enable the State Government to officially approach the Nagaland Government or the MHA or the NSCN (IM), NGOs and civil societies of Senapati have been activated and sent to Nagaland to approach the NSCN (IM) to hand over the accused to the police, he added.

Gaikhangam however said there has been no response to the approach of the NGOs so far.

A senior Cabinet Minister informed The Sangai Express that the Chief Minister may have had a telephonic talk with his Nagaland counterpart Nephiu Rio late this evening.

The Chief Minister is believed to have pressed the Nagaland Government to do its best to hand over the accused to the State Government, said the senior Cabinet Minister.

He however added that if the Chief Minister could not get in touch with his Nagaland counter part today, then the matter would surely be pursued tomorrow morning.