Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, April 20: Five “top leaders” of the NSCN (K) arrested on charges of aiding India-based armed groups operate from Myanmar were produced before a Myanmar court on April 19, according to a report on the News18 website.
The Naga leaders, it reported, were arrested by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) during a raid on March 9 on the outfit’s liaison office at Khamti in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Later, they were handed over to the police.
The arrested leaders have been identified as NSCN (K)’s ‘peace committee’ leader U An Kam; ‘spokesperson’ U Kyaw Wan Sein; and officers U Saw Htein, Aung Mai and Aung Sai.
The report quoted a “top commander of the Myanmar-based outfit” as having said that the arrested NSCN (K) leaders would be produced again before the court on April 29. The local police have charged them for violating Article 17/1 of the Unlawful Association Act, it added.
The leaders had reportedly come to attend a meeting organised by the ‘Naga Cultural Central Committee’ in Khamti town on March 8 to discuss peace in the Naga region, but were arrested by the Tatmadaw, the following day.
They were shifted to police custody on March 26.
“The Tatmadaw accused the NSCN (K) of helping Indian-based rebel outfits like the United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Sarawgaira, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Peoples’ Democratic Council of Karbi Longri and United National Liberation Front in Myanmar.
“The NSCN (K) leaders were allegedly helping rebels in their fight against India by sheltering and allowing them to run military training schools. The Tatmadaw accused the NSCN-K of violating the bilateral ceasefire agreement it signed on April 9, 2012 with the Sagaing regional government,” the report read further.
On January 29, the Tatmadaw had launched an operation against the armed outfits, including the NSCN (K) and ULFA (I), based in the Ta Ga areas of Sagaing region in Myanmar.
In early March, more than a month after taking control of the NSCN (K)’s headquarters at Ta Ga, the Tatmadaw arrested 10 of its top leaders and six cadres. On April 5, it released five detainees, who were identified as Tomthong, Ngaitum, Manglwan, Athrom and Longsa, according to the report.