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Court allows NIA to quiz arms procurer

 NEW DELHI, Oct 12 – The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was today allowed by a Delhi court to interrogate Anthony Shimray, the alleged chief arms procurer of insurgent group NSCN(I-M), in custody for 14 days, reports PTI.

 The NIA, in its first-ever FIR, has accused Shimray of conspiring with arms dealers in China and Thailand to procure a huge quantity of arms and ammunitions for carrying out “terrorist activities” in the country.

Special Judge S P Garg, in an in-camera proceeding, allowed the NIA investigators to interrogate Shimray, a key figure of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), whose custody was granted till October 25.

The FIR said that Shimray, being the chief arms procurer of the northeastern insurgent outfit, had deposited money with offshore arms dealers and had travelled to Nepal and Bangkok.

Shimray, arrested from Patna on October 2, was allowed by a local court there to be produced before the designated court in the national capital.

He has been booked under various provisions of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, dealing with criminal conspiracy and waging war against the Government of India.

The NIA, in its application, sought custodial interrogation of Shimray for 15 days, a key member of the NSCN(IM). The ban on the outfit was lifted in 2002.

The court, however, allowed the probe agency his custody for 14 days.

“The various incriminating documents/ articles such as foreign passports and national identity cards of multiple countries of Bangladesh, Philippines and Thailand, Indian passport, driving license in fictitious names and other related documents which were recovered from the possession of the accused at the time of arrest are required to be verified,” NIA said.

The agency said that the custodial interrogation of Shimray was required to unearth the “entire conspiracy” of procurement of huge quantity of arms and ammunition and to recover material evidence to prove his complicity in the conspiracy.

It said that the interrogation would help it in identifying the places and persons being used by Shimray in “transshipment” of the arms consignment.

The NIA said that it has to “identify” the source of money, used in the illegal transaction, and the mode of payment to procure the consignment, which may lead to arrest of his accomplices.

The agency said the probe was a time-taking process as it will have to verify various incriminating documents, recovered from the possession of Shimray.

The NSCN(IM) has been one of the most important insurgent outfits in the northeast. The organisation had begun talks with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in early 2000 which are still continuing.

In a recent development, the top leadership of NSCN(IM) including its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah held a reconciliation meeting with rival NSCN (Khaplang) and other groups in Nagaland and decided to stop hostilities against each other. This development was welcomed by the Nagaland government also.

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