Assam arms haul case: Another suspect arrested
Making another breakthrough, the district police have arrested a person from Kalimpong in connection with the 2014 Assam arms haul case in which also figures a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader, who is on the run.
On Wednesday, the Darjeeling police arrested Amber Dhoj Mangar (42) from his house in Kalimpong’s Chandralok area. He was produced before the chief judicial magistrate court in Darjeeling today and sent to seven days police remand for further questioning.
Pankaj Prasad, the Assistant Public Prosecutor, said after the announcement by CJM in-charge Joydeep Bhattacharjee, “The Darjeeling police arrested Mangar alias Bhutta from Kalimpong and produced him at the CJM court today. We had applied for 10 days remand, but the CJM in-charge granted only seven days police remand for questioning."
The arrest is significant given that Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, arrested on November 8, 2014 from Chirang district of Assam with a huge cache of purportedly meant to be taken to Darjeeling, had used the Tata Safari vehicle the owner of which was Mangar.
“Prior to November 8, Kami and Chhetri had admitted they had dropped arms and ammunitions in Darjeeling on two previous occasions. On both counts, they claimed to have used Mangar’s vehicle,” the APP said.
The police found the Tata Safari in an abandoned condition in Singamari, Darjeeling in 2014 but by then Mangar had managed to escape. “After we seized Mangar’s vehicle in Singamari, we conducted a forensic examination. We found a secret chamber underneath the footrest of the vehicle where the arms and ammunitions had been hidden,” Prasad said.
According to the APP, Kami and Chhetri had also named Sanjay Thulung, a GJM leader and Sabhasad representing Tukdah-Glenburn constituency, saying he was to receive the arms cache in Darjeeling.
Based on that statement, the police on December 6, 2014 recovered a rifle and 22 rounds of live ammunition and incriminating leaflets calling for an armed struggle for a separate state. These items were seized from an abandoned house near 27th Mile under Rangli-Rangliot police station.
Mangar has been arrested under Sections 120B, 121, 121A, 124A (criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state) of the IPC read with Sections 25 and 27 of the arms act.
The APP said Mangar’s remand was important as more information could be retrieved about the GJM leader’s connection with militant outfits of Nagaland, and if there were more arms in Darjeeling.
“Kami and Chhetri had revealed that at least 13 GLPs (Gorkhaland Personnel) had undergone arms training in an NSCN militant camp. The two had also told the CID investigating the case that Thulung was in contact with the banned militant outfit and facilitated the training. We also want to know if there are more arms and ammunitions in Darjeeling,” Prasad said. (EOIC)