New Delhi: 

The Army has dismantled an undesignated hideout of the insurgent group NSCN (IM) in Manipur after its members were found extorting from people at a village. The NSCN (IM), the largest insurgency group in the north-east, has a ceasefire with the centre and it has to report the location of all its camps to the Army.

“An undesignated and unauthorised hideout of NSCN (IM) was busted on July 6 by the Army troops at Kekru Naga village in Manipur. Based on a specific input regarding NSCN (IM) cadres camping in Kekru Naga and carrying out illegal extortion, a well-coordinated operation was launched on the night of July 5,” the Army said in a statement.

“However, seeing the troops advancing toward their camp, the cadres fled leaving huge amount of arms, ammunition, uniform and other war-like stores,” the Army said.

A member of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) was detained after he was found trying to hide among people in plainclothes, the Army said.

The weapons found by the raiding team included an American-origin M16 assault rifle with 125 round, one self-loading rifle with 26 rounds and some AK series assault rifles, apart from other “warlike stores”.

The Army said it is working closely with the police, intelligence agencies, civil administration and the locals to identify “unauthorised hideouts” of the NSCN (IM). “Immediate action is being taken to identify and dismantle such undesignated NSCN (IM) camps in Manipur and to stop atrocities as well as illegal activities of these cadres,” the Army said in the statement.

The NSCN (IM), formed in 1980, is led by 85-year-old Thuingaleng Muivah; the other top leader of the group, Isak Chishi Swu, died three years ago at 87 of multi-organ failure.

Over the years, the NSCN-IM has been accused of killings, extortion and other subversive activities and its persistent demand for separation from India led to a military clampdown on the group.

In 1997, the NSCN-IM entered into a truce with the central government for peace and since then has been continuing dialogue with the centre’s emissaries.

In August 2015, the NSCN-IM signed a framework agreement with the government which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “historic” step to usher in peace in the state.

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