Home Minister of NSCN IM held
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 06: In a major development that could send major ripples in the political corridor, State police commandos arrested the Home Minister (Kilo Kilonser), AK Lungalang, Deputy Kilonser K Chawang, Tatar David Pere and Captain of the NSCN (IM) from near Tulibari village on the IT road in Senapati district today at about 3.30 pm.

Another 10 persons were arrested along with the top NSCN (IM) functionaries.

According to a highly placed source from the Police Headquarters, the NSCN (IM) leaders were arrested by the police commandos who were deployed at the area for the demographic resurvey which is underway at Senapati district.

The arrest of the top NSCN (IM) leader and his associates caught the State Government by surprise and the SPF meeting which was scheduled to be held at 5 pm today had to be postponed indefinitely and attention was focused on the arrest instead.

The meeting was called ahead of the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on October 24.A highly placed source informed The Sangai Express that New Delhi has reacted swiftly to the report of the arrest.

Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani has instructed Chief Minister O Ibobi to release the outfit's leader, said the source adding that the matter has also reached the Chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, RV Kulkarni.

To tackle the situation, the Chief Minister convened a high level meeting at his office chamber this evening.

High ranking Government officials including Principal Secretary, V Chhiber who is in charge as Chief Secretary, Additional DGP (LO) AK Parashar who is standing in for the DGP, IGP (LO) etc attended the meeting.

Another well placed source informed that the Kangpokpi Police OC was summoned late this evening by the Chief Minister to get an updated report on the incident.

Of the 13 people arrested, 3 are from Manipur while the rest are from Nagaland.

Other than Lungalang six are NSCN (IM) cadres while the remaining six are civilians, said sources.

Chief Minister O Ibobi could not be reached for his comment when The Sangai Express contacted his official bungalow today at 10.30 pm.

When The Sangai Express contacted the Additional DGP (LO) AK Parashar, he declined to comment on the matter.

AK Lungalang returned on September 24 after attending the peace parleys between New Delhi and NSCN (IM) at Bangkok.

Our Dimapur correspondent reports that Lungalang was on his way to Tamenglong from Dimapur when he was arrested.

They were on their way to attend a political awareness camp to be held on October 8 at Tamenglong The NSCN (IM) men were traveling in a Maruti Gypsy and a Mahindra Scorpio when they were arrested.