ITANAGAR, Jul 15: Almost two months after MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others were brutally massacred in Tirap district, security forces on Saturday arrested one NSCN (IM) operative, self-styled major Anok Wangsa, from Tizit in Mon district of Nagaland.
Wangsa is the NSCN (IM)’s area commander of Longding-Charaideo-Mon region, covering the areas in both Nagaland and Arunachal.
This is an interesting development, considering that the NSCN (IM) had strongly denied allegations of its involvement in the assassination.
Wangsa is deputy to self-styled major general Absolom Tangkhul of the NSCN (IM), who is also alleged to be involved in the killing of Aboh and the others.
In a press release, the defence PRO informed that, “based on specific information,” personnel of the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles and the Assam Police carried out a joint operation on early Saturday morning, resulting in the apprehension of Wangsa.
According to the PRO, “At around 3:30 am, one of the teams intercepted a vehicle which was moving on the Namtola-Jampan axis and immediately identified and apprehended the individual. Search of the vehicle yielded concealed weapons and ammunition. During interrogation, the Wangsa confirmed that he had hidden more weapons, in his house located on the Assam-Nagaland border. The teams then carried out a detailed search of his house, which resulted in recovery of a large cache of arms, ammunition and weapons, including one AK-56 rifle, pistols, and more than Rs 5 lakhs in cash.”
Aboh along with 10 others, including his 19-year-old son, was killed on 21 May when they were on their way to Khonsa from Assam. A cadre of around 20 heavily armed men in military fatigues reportedly waylaid the MLA’s convoy and killed them, stunning the whole state.
At the time of his death, Aboh was seeking reelection on an NPP ticket, against Phawang Lowang of the BJP. Aboh retained his Khonsa West seat when the election result was declared on 23 May.
The assassination case is currently being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.