SILCHAR: What keeps terrorism kicking and going on in the Northeast? Among all other well explained causes, the nexus between politicians and extremists and the diversion of Central funds is one such cause. In the latest instance, former Chief Executive Member of the Autonomous District Council of North Cachar Hills Mohit Hojai and a Council official RH Khan are in the dragnet of the National Investigation Agency, for allegedly aiding the DHD (J) terrorists. They were arrested following the seizure of Rs.1 crore in cash from two DHD (J) linkmen who revealed during interrogation that the money was given to them by Hojai for securing an arms deal with the outfit.
There was a well connected nexus between terrorists and a section of the Council’s elected representatives and officials, NIA, sources admitted. Sources added that the issue of diversion of funds to the terrorists did not begin with Hojai. In connection with the case, National Investigation Agency has arrested 10 people including some arms dealers as well. Seven were apprehended in Asom, two in Bengal and one in Mizoram. But, it further pointed out that Mohit Hojai will be the only big politician in the chargesheet that NIA would file soon.
In fact, nexus between politicians and terrorists came to light on the basis of the confessional statements of Dimasa National Security Force Chairman Bharat Langthasa who was arrested on March 30, 1994. He revealed his close links with the then Hills Area Development Minister Gobind Chandra Langthasa, Chief Executive Member of the Council Pabitra Kemprai and Kontalal Kemprai. The outfit ceremoniously surrendered before the then Asom Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia in November, 1995.
Moreover, DNSF had committed a number of killings, kidnapping and extortions from various businessmen and traders to sustain its campaign for an independent Dimasaland. It had developed close links with NSCN (IM) for training in arms and ammunition. Autonomous State Demand Committee and other organisations had all along been accusing the Congress Government of sponsoring violence in North Cachar Hills.
In a fax message to this scribe on March 11, 1995, CEM Pabitra Kemprai denied the allegations involving him and others for having direct links with DNSF and said that the press published the news after a year of the arrest of Bharat Langthasa and wondered how a confidential document of the government .is available for the press to misutilize the same.
It is no use repeating what happened to Purnendu Langthasa and Nindu Langthasa, the two young and powerful political leaders of North Cachar Hills whom DHD (J) accused of trying to buy “us off”. Purnendu was the eldest son of Gobind Chandra Langthasa and CEM of the Council. Nindu was a member of the Council. DHD (J)’s publicity secretary Phairang Dimasa went on record to say that the Congress leaders offered money to buy peace.
Investigators agreed that money played a role in the killings of both the leaders. Police officials said the terrorists had demanded Rs.2.8 crore from the ruling Congress and a dispute while trying to negotiate a deal led to the duo being shot dead on June 5, 2007. There are several instances of such nexus in the Hill districts.
Extremists are known to have safe havens in jungles near and beyond the international borders. They are often found in the official residences of MLAs. On August 17, 2007, Manipur police found 12 terrorists and an assortment of arms and ammunitions from the house of three MLAs and a former legislator of the ruling Congress in the state’s most heavily guarded zone. The three sitting legislators whose quarters were raided were W. Brajabadhu Singh, K. Meghachandra Singh and K. Bijoy Singh. All the three were at home as was their former colleague N. Sobhakiran Singh when the police came calling.
Eight terrorists of Khanglei Yawol Kanna Lup were traced to the quarters of W. Brajabadhu Singh, two cadres of Kangleipak Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army respectively were arrested from the house of Meghachandra Singh. A terrorist each of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak and Kangleipak Communist Party were arrested from residents of Bijoy Singh and Sobhakiran Singh. The Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh refused to spell out if action would be taken against the MLAs. Besides arms and ammunitions, extortion notices meant for Imphal based businessmen were also recovered.
In the midnight of December 14, 2006, six cadres of the Islamic People’s United Liberation Front (PULF) were intercepted by police at Imphal while they were transporting 200 woollen blankets and other sundry items from the residence of Md. Alauddin Khan, Minister of Veterinary and Minority Affairs, who was however quick enough to deny and clarify that the materials in question were lifted from some other place.
The scenario of nexus is bewildering. One still remembers the devastating political report of the then Governor Lt General VK Nayar in mid 90s who accused Nagaland Chief Minister of that time SC Jamir for supporting NSCN (Khaplang). His report further charged the then Chief Minister RK Dorendra Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Reishang Keishing for helping the terrorists.
The late Reishing Government got involved in what came to be known as the uniform scandal in Manipur. It was then that alleged uniforms of the Manipur Rifles worth Rs.45 crore were gifted away to the NSCN at the behest of Reishang Keishing.
While Jamir dubbed the report of the Governor a ‘heresy’ and questioned the political wisdom of the Governor, Keishing threatened to drag General Nayar to Court and vehemently denied ever supporting NSCN guerillas. What could be termed as the first ever drastic action by the Centre in the political history of the country was the sacking of the Nagaland Governor Dr MM Thomas for being sympathetic to the terrorists.