NIA Court allows remand for alleged arms smuggler Ningkhan Sangtam

NIA Court allows remand for alleged arms smuggler Ningkhan Sangtam

Imphal, December 1 2020: Special Judge NIA Manipur today allowed the NIA to formally arrest Ningkhan Sangtam and remanded him to three days custody of the agency in connection with illegal procurement and supply of arms and ammunition to insurgent groups.

Ningkhan Sangtam alias Angam of Lungphu village Phungyar district was brought to Manipur by a team of NIA from Patna Central Jail. He is also beleived to be a self-styled Major of NSCN-IM.

Case against Ningkhan Sangtam was registered by the agency after two persons along with huge quantities of arms and ammunition being smuggled along the Imphal-Ukhrul road were arrested on May 21, 2018 by security forces.

Earlier on November 10, the NIA Court had issued production warrant for Ningkhan Sangtam who was lodged at Patna Central Jail. He was produced before the Court today along with the prayer for allowing the NIA to formally arrest him and his custody.

Producing the accused, Investigating Officer(IO) of the case through Special PP submitted that during the investigation of a case of illegal procurement and supply of arms and ammunition, two persons Honpam Chithung of Ngaprum village, Phungyar and Muthu Manohar of Moreh Ward Number 6 were arrested by a team of Assam Rifles on May 21, 2018 along with large quantity of arms and ammunition along Imphal-Ukhrul road at lower Hundung while moving towards Imphal in a Maruti Gypsy.

On examination, Honpam Chithung named two other accused persons, Paosham Kasar and Ningkhan Sangtam and efforts were made to effect their arrest.

Further investigation also revealed that a huge consignment of arms and ammunition was also seized at Bihar along with the arrest of two persons, Clerason Karbo and Koirangam of Ukhrul, submitted the IO. During the interrogation, they revealed that the consignment belonged to Ningkhan Sangtam.

A case was taken up by the NIA Lucknow Branch and during their investigation, Ningkhan Sangtam was apprehended by Dimapur police along with arms and ammunition.

Chargesheets against Ningkhan Sangtam and others lodged at Patna Central Jail were also filed before the NIA Court.

Ningkhan Sangtam was allegedly having nexus with several counterparts at Bihar and Naxalite groups, submitted the IO .

The Court heard the submissions and allowed the NIA to formally arrest Ningkhan Sangtam and remanded him to three days custody of the agency.

The Court also directed the agency to produce Ningkhan Sangtam before it on December 3 .

Ningkhan Sangtam and Purnea Arm Case Links

On 13 October,2020 NIA conducted searches in Patna at the house of an accused in the case of supplying arms and ammunition including grenade launchers to Naxals, an official said.

The searches were conducted at the house of Chandra Vijay Pratap and the premises of M/s Sanmario Pharmaceuticals Private Limited in Patna of which Pratap is the Director, the NIA spokesperson said

The case pertains to the interdiction of an SUV and seizure of highly sophisticated weapons and ammunition on February 7 last year by police in Purnea, Bihar, from three persons — Suraj Prasad, Varengnow Kahorngam and Clearson Kabo, the official said.

The weapons included two under barrel grenade launchers, one AK series rifle and 1,800 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition which were kept concealed and were being transported by the three persons in the SUV, according to the NIA spokesperson.

The NIA re-registered the case under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Arms Act, and arrested four more accused — Tripuari Singh, Mukesh Singh, Ningkhan Sangtam and Santosh Singh — and filed a chargesheet against the seven accused, the official said.

A large number of illegal sophisticated weapons and ammunition were supplied by Sangtam, a self-styled Major of NSCN (IM) — a major insurgent group in the Northeast — through an arms dealer in Bihar to absconding accused Bhikhan Ganjhu, the Zonal Commander of the Tritya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a Naxal terrorist gang, the NIA said.

Pratap had transferred a huge amount of funds to the account of accused Ningkhan Sangtam, the spokesperson said