Central intelligence agencies have reported that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) — one of the Northeast’s strongest insurgent outfits — is rearming.
The report, which comes in the backdrop of a deadlocked peace process between the Centre and the outfit that has been on for the past 13 years, has forced the Union Home Ministry to order an immediate investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The agencies told the government there is a growing sense of frustration among the rank and file of the NSCN (IM). The outfit is procuring sophisticated weapons, arms and ammunition — mostly of Chinese origin — and getting clear support from a neighbouring country.
"We’ve registered an FIR against some NSCN members and started the investigation. The IB report clearly points to the outfit’s nefarious designs to destabilise the Northeast. We are also probing the extent of their links with China,” said a senior NIA official.
The NSCN (IM) has been extorting huge sums of money from individuals and organisations involved in implementing development projects.
The NIA had recently filed a chargesheet in another case handed over to it, after its investigations revealed hundreds of crores of rupees in government development funds had been siphoned off in the Northeast.
A major part of this went to an insurgent group in Assam, the Dima Halam Daogah (Black Widow faction). The group used this to buy weapons.
“We found that in one case itself, nearly Rs 100 crore of government funds were swindled by a clique of politicians, bureaucrats, insurgents and contractors in the North Cachar Hills district of Assam in the past few months and a major part of this went to insurgent groups,” the official added.
The case has now been handed over to the CBI by the state government, after the NIA formally recommended an investigation into allegations of corruption and misappropriation of development funds by politicians, officials and contractors.
Ministers in the Assam government are reportedly implicated in the case.