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Manipur Outfits Grab Rice- UNLF Robbed Govt Schemes Regularly, Says NIA

One of the insurgent outfits of Manipur.

GUWAHATI, Feb. 16: Militant outfits in Manipur have not only been feeding on government funds, but have not even spared the subsidized rice meant for poor people of the state.

This came to light during an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into activities of the proscribed militant outfit, United National Liberation Front (UNLF), which was collecting 5 per cent of subsidized rice meant for poor people in Manipur on a regular basis.

The chargesheet, filed by the premier investigation agency at the NIA special court here on Monday in a case involving UNLF leaders, said the militant group used to force government employees to part with a percentage of the food grains as well as government funds by threatening to kill them.

Sources in Manipur said militant groups have been collecting certain percentages of subsidized rice meant for people living both below and above poverty line and also from midday meal schemes for school students. The rice was collected either at the government godowns or from distribution points. The NIA said the militants extort money from public servants by threatening them with death or by intimidating them through different means, like throwing grenades on their office premises or residences.

After going through the budget prepared by the UNLF listing its various sources of revenue, the NIA found that extortion was the major source of funds for the insurgents.

The investigation revealed that the militants siphon off development funds provided by the Centre under different schemes. Some of the government agencies targeted by the UNLF for extortion were Food Corporation of India (FCI), food and civil supplies department, public works department and flood control department of Manipur.

“The UNLF cadres were also involved in extortion of money from transporters operating in Manipur, by threatening to burn the buses and harming the operators physically, which sometimes causes disruption of services,” the NIA chargesheet said.

The investigation also revealed that apart from government departments, they also extorted money from private firms, business establishments, educational institutions, private hospitals and clinics, among others.

The NIA filed the chargesheet in case number 10/2010 registered by the investigating agency in November last year in connection with illegal and secessionist activities being carried out by UNLF members.

Altogether 19 UNLF militants, including “chairman” of the outfit, Raj Kumar Meghen alias Sana Yaima, and Vice-chairman Khundong Tomba alias Bikramjit, were named in the chargesheet.

The NIA found that the funds raised by the UNLF through extortion in Manipur were brought to Guwahati by human couriers and then sent to its leaders based in countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The investigation agency also said the UNLF leaders procure arms and ammunition from agents based in foreign countries.

In the chargesheet, NIA mentioned that UNLF leader Moirangthem Joy Singh alias Nongyai visited and stayed in countries like China, Nepal and Myanmar to purchase arms and ammunition. “Moirangthem Joy Singh, on the directions of Raj Kumar Meghen, had also established a base in Nepal and organized meetings with other militant organizations like Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, People’s Liberation Army, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak and so on, to intensify their terrorist acts in Manipur,” it added.

*Reported by Pankaj Sarma

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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