Opium link in Arunachal MLA’s killing not ruled out

NSCN (IM) rules out involvement

The police in Arunachal Pradesh have not ruled out the possibility of an opium cartel being involved in the gunning down of a legislator and 10 others in the State’s Tirap district on Tuesday.

Members of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM), are suspected to have killed MLA Tirong Aboh, 42, and the others at Bogapani, about 20 km from Tirap district headquarters Khonsa.

Mr. Aboh was the National People’s Party candidate for the Khonsa West Assembly seat.

The NSCN (IM) has denied involvement, blaming it on the propaganda of the Indian agencies to derail the “Indo-Naga” peace process, meaning its ceasefire with New Delhi since July 1997.

“The ambush on the four vehicles the victims were travelling in bears the sign of an underground group, most likely the NSCN which has many factions. There are chances of connection of these groups with the opium growers,” said Sunil Garg, the State’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order).

Opium belt

The “TCL region” of southern Arunachal Pradesh has for long been notorious for the turf war between the NSCN (IM) and NSCN (Khaplang) besides illicit opium cultivation. TCL expands to Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts.

Extremists of all shades have used the hilly, densely forested terrain of the TCL region as a corridor to and from safe havens in adjoining Myanmar. Of the factions, the NSCN (IM) has been enjoying the upper hand in this region because of pressure on the Khaplang group from both the Indian and Myanmar armed forces.

“Our informers said 14-15 people ambushed the MLA and escaped into the jungles. We have been using helicopters to scan the routes the assailants might have taken,” an Army officer said on condition of anonymity.

Source: Read Full Article