Sourced arms from China, says arrested Naga militant

Arrested NSCN (I-M) arms procurer Anthony Shimray has told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths that he paid an advance of $ 800,000 this April to a Bangkok-based company to source rocket launchers, grenades, assault rifles and ammunition for the Naga and other insurgent groups in Assam and Manipur from a weapons supplier in mainland China.

Shimray, 50, picked up by the Indian security agencies apparently from Patna on October 2, has revealed that he has been frequently travelling to Beijing and is in constant touch with the Chinese intelligence.

Top government sources told The Sunday Express that Shimray's release has been demanded by NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chisi Swu in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Bangkok this month, saying that the arms procurer for the insurgent group was in India only to help the Naga leadership in the ongoing dialogue with New Delhi.

Before Swu's missive, NSCN (I-M)'s so-called Commander-in-Chief, V S Atem, wrote a threatening letter to the Indian government and accused the RA&W of picking up Shimray from the Kathmandu International Airport as he landed from Bangkok. Atem's letter has since been withdrawn by the NSCN (I-M) leadership.

Sources said Shimray told his interrogators that he has to make a final payment of another $200,000 before the Chinese company would ship arms from Dalian in north China to the Naga group through either the Cox's Bazaar route in Bangladesh or through the land route via North Myanmar. The arms supplier said the weapons delivery was expected to be made in October-November, once the advance had been paid to the Chinese company.The NIA has the exact names of the companies involved in Bangkok and China.

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