MLA Yamthong flies to Delhi for treatment, driver detained
IMPHAL,1st Aug: Saikul MLA Yamthong Haokip, whose residence at Mantripukhri was raided by a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 30 in connection with the 2nd Manipur Rifles (MR) arms missing case, was flown to Delhi on Wednesday after his health condition reportedly deteriorated. In connection with the raid, Inspector General of NIA will be arriving at Imphal on Thursday to conduct a more in-depth probe.
It may be mentioned here that 2nd MR Battalion CO Polem Manjit had filed a report at Imphal PS on March 30 informing that 56 numbers of 9mm pistols and 58 magazines were missing from the 2nd MR armoury. The government had taken serious note of the report and handed over the investigation to NIA.
According to reports, following the raid at his Mantripukhri residence by the NIA team from about 10.30 am on July 30, MLA Yamthong was admitted to Sky Hospital located along RIMS road on Tuesday. As his health deteriorated, an air ambulance was called in from Delhi on Wednesday. He was transported to Imphal Airport in Sky hospital ambulance around 10.30 am. The air ambulance landed at the Airport at 12.50 pm and flew the MLA to Delhi around 1pm.
The reports further conveyed that subsequent to the raid carried out by the NIA team, the IG of the investigation agency would be arriving at Imphal on Thursday and would be staying here to closely monitor the probe.
Meanwhile, the NIA special court has remanded one Thokchom Diamond (31), driver of MLA Yamthong Haokip into police custody for three days for further investigation. Diamond was produced before the NIA special court at Cheirap Court Complex on Wednesday along with the cash and arms seized from the residence of the MLA in connection with the investigation into missing of arms from the armoury of 2nd Manipur Rifles.
NIA conducted a raid at the residence of the MLA and reportedly seized large amount of cash and some armssuspected to be the missing 9 mm pistols from the MR armoury. The NIA team was seen carrying steel trunk, bag and well-sealed guns while leaving the court complex. An NIA statement informed that it has been investigating case No RC-02/2018/NIA/GUW pertaining to missing of 56 pistols and 58 magazines from the DG pool kote located within the premises of 2nd Manipur Rifles Battalion. The weapons went missing between September, 2016 and early 2017.
During the course of investigation nine persons have been arrested and three 9mm pistol out of 56 missing pistols have been recovered from the members of various militant groups. The custodial interrogation of the accused revealed involvement of MLA Yamthong Haokip. Accordingly, on Monday (July 30), a search was conducted in the house of the MLA at Mantripukhi, which ended on Tuesday morning.
During the search Rs 26.40 lakh cash; gold ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh; one 9mm pistol bearing no 18506735 with magazine, which is one of the missing pistols; one Beretta Pistol bearing no DAA 462616, 3032 TOMCAT-32 Auto Made in the USA with magazine (license no 4760/IW, expired on June 30, 2015); one unlicensed 9mm Pietro Beretta Gardone VT Pistol bearing MOD 9QFS-CAL .9 PARA BELLUM-PATENTED & K57398Z, Made in Italy, with magazine; one DBBL gun bearing no 65330/05 having Licence no L/981 (KPI) renewed up to December 31, 2014; one SBBL gun without any mark of identification (licence issued by ADC Kangpokpi with Licence no 27734); 22 live rounds of .32 pistol; 15 rounds of 9mm pistol; four rounds of 7.62 Rifle and four rounds of 7.62X39 (AK series) along with other incriminating documents were recovered.
The investigation of the case is in progress. As part of its investigation, personnel of the battalion namely Havildar NP Damodar, Rifleman Narayan Kshetri, Kuki group-KRA cadre Ngamboi Haokip, Hiranjoy Sharma and Paonam Shantikumar were arrested in connection with the case. The police also arrested another battalion rifleman Laishram Anilkumar.