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Manipur: Court frames charges against Congress MLA, others in arms theft case

As many as 56 9-mm pistols and 59 magazines were stolen from the armoury of 2nd Manipur Rifles garrison between 2016 and early 2017.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal | October 26, 2020 9:19:11 pm
Yamthong Haokip, Yamthong Haokip MLA, Manipur arms missing case, Manipur arms theft, Manipur Rifles, KRA militant group, indian expressYamthong Haokip (with mask) being escorted out of court by NIA sleuths in 2018. (Express photo)

Special Judge NIA Manipur on Monday framed charges against Congress MLA Yamthong Haokip, Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) chief David Hangsing and nine others in connection with the arms missing case from 2nd Manipur Rifles Armoury.

The accused were charged under several sections of IPC, UAPA and Arms Act. The NIA submitted the chargesheet on October 14 but the hearing was reserved for today.

MLA Yamthong Haokip and three personnel of the Manipur Rifles were absent at Monday’s hearing. Accordingly, the Court directed all the four accused to appear before it on Tuesday without fail.

The MLA is currently out on bail on medical grounds. He was arrested on August 24, 2019 after NIA sleuths recovered one of the missing 9 mm pistols from his residence. As per the NIA, Yamthong was involved in procuring the missing arms illegally and distributing them to different ‘terrorist groups to wage war against the state’.

As many as 56 9-mm pistols and 59 magazines were stolen from the armoury of 2nd Manipur Rifles garrison between 2016 and early 2017. After the incident came to light, Manipur government handed over the case to NIA, terming it a threat to national security.

Soon after, the NIA took into custody Saikul MLA Yamthong Haokip and KRA Chief David Hangsing in August 2018. KRA is a militant group under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the state and centre governments.

The NIA has also implicated former Congress MLA Ngamthang Haokip, who had joined the BJP.

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