The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday formally re-arrested National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) cadre Khumlo Abi Anal alias Ambison from police custody in connection with the June 4 ambush in Manipur. This is the NIA’s first arrest in the attack which left 18 soldiers of 6 Dogra Regiment dead and 11 others injured.
“Ambison, a senior functionary and the regional chairman of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland Khaplang group in Manipur’s Chandel district, was first arrested by the Manipur police on June 11 in a separate case registered in Imphal… After his formal arrest by the NIA, the court remanded him in the NIA custody for nine days. He is being brought to Delhi for further interrogation,” said a senior NIA official requesting anonymity.
Suspected NSCN (K) militants armed with advanced weapons ambushed a military convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district bordering Myanmar, killing at least 18 soldiers and wounding about 11 others.
According to sources, Ambison, 40, was arrested by the Manipur police after an intelligence-led operation.
A senior NIA official said the analysis of Ambison’s phone call records showed he was touch with many suspected phone numbers across the Indo-Myanmar border. “He allegedly met with the group that carried out the attack on the army convoy before the attack. He was in touch with them after the attack.
It is also suspected that Ambison helped the two NSCN (Khaplang) cadres conduct a recce of the place. He provided reconnaissance men with shelter and vehicles to move around as they had come from Myanmar,” said a senior home ministry official, requesting anonymity.
On June 13, the NSCN-Reformation (NSCN-R) clarified that Ambison was not a member of NSCN(K) but the chairman of the Amamcht region of NSCN(R).
It said that Ambison had merged his region with the NSCN-R group led by Wangtin Naga and P Tikhak who left NSCN(K) after falling out with the Myanmar-based SS Khaplang earlier this year.