The National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) maiden chargesheet has exposed the nexus militants in the Northeast enjoy with politicians, bureaucrats and contractors.
The 34-page chargesheet against 14 people, filed in a court on November 17, outlines how Rs 20 crore (200 million) in central funds was diverted to a militant outfit through the public health engineering and social welfare departments in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district.
Most transactions were made through a hawala (illegal money transfer) racket based in Kolkata to reach arms smugglers, to provide guns to the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) group, says the chargesheet. The group is also called the Black Widow.
The Centre had in June asked the NIA to investigate the nexus, two months after the Assam police arrested two Black Widow rebels with weapons and Rs 1 crore in cash. The two confessed they got the money from Mohit Hojai, then chief executive member of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council.
The twin arrests almost coincided with the capture of Jewel Garlosa, the group’s chairman, in Bangalore. Hojai and Garlosa are among the 14 chargesheeted, as are Jiang Juming, a Myanmarese gunrunner, and social welfare deputy director R.H. Khan. Of the 14, 11 are in jail, two out on bail and one yet to be arrested.
The NIA has referred the case to the CBI as there are government officials involved.