New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has formally charged United National Liberation Front’s (UNLF) chairman R.K. Meghen and 18 other Manipur separatists for anti-national activities, extortion and attempts to buy illegal arms from abroad, a home ministry release said here Tuesday.
The charges have been filed in the special court of the NIA in Guwahati, it added.
The government had said that Meghen was arrested Nov 30, 2010, in East Champaran district of Bihar while he was crossing into the country from Bangladesh.
However, Meghen has been claiming that he “was abducted by Indian and Bangladeshi sleuths in Dhaka on Sep 29” and forcibly brought to India.
According to NIA, most of the other arrested militants were staying in Assam.
Meghen, 63, is the leader of the 46-year-old UNLF, the major outfit among the 20-odd Manipuri separatist organisations.
“The charges against Meghen and others include waging war against the country and raising funds through extortion,” the release said. They have also been charged with trying to procure arms and ammunition from foreign countries.
The UNLF militants sought the help of some Chinese-origin people for arms purchase, the NIA said.
The NIA said that it has evidence that the “accused transferred funds to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar for purchase of sophisticated arms and ammunition”.
“In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the accused extensively used internet, mobile phones and in some cases satellite phones also,” the release said.
“Meghen had a long history of evading lawful arrests and remained the principal architect of the ongoing terrorist activities carried out at the behest of the UNLF in Manipur and other states,” according to the release.
“The other accused mostly belonged to the revenue collection branch of the said outfit. Items like pen drives, laptops, mobile phones, Indian currency were seized from their possession,” it added.