IMPHAL, March 31 - The Manipur Government has written to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the missing case of 56 pistols along with 58 magazines reported at the arms store of Manipur Rifles.
This was disclosed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh while addressing a press conference here today. Terming the incident which occurred at the well-guarded armoury of 2nd Battalion Manipur Rifles as a serious threat to national and State security, the Chief Minister said: �We have written to the NIA to take over the case as an urgent and serious matter to conduct a thorough investigation and book the persons involved.�
The incident of the missing arms and ammunition came to light when the newly posted Commandant, P Manjit of 2nd Battalion Manipur Rifles, checked the current holdings of arms and ammunition of both the unit and PHQ pool a few days back. During the examination, it was found that some weapons out of the total 570 auto 9 mm 1A pistols received from PHQ on September 11, 2014, were missing.
Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, a former DGP, said that after a thorough discussion, the State Government chose the NIA as the most appropriate agency to investigate the case as it has expertise in militancy-related cases.
Meanwhile, the SP of Imphal West district, Themthing Ngashangva, said investigation into the case is progressing well. So far five persons, including two 2nd Manipur Rifles personnel and a KRA cadre, have been arrested for their direct and indirect involvement and one 9 mm pistol was seized from the arrested persons. Another weapon seized on September 4, 2016 is under active examination as its body number has been tampered with and it is beyond visibility, he added.
The arrested Manipur Rifles personnel are Damodaran NP and Narayan Chetry, while the KRA cadres is Ngamboi Haokip. The other two arrested persons are M Hiranjoy Sharma (32) and P Shantikumar(48), both from Imphal.
On the other hand, another rifleman of Manipur Rifles identified as L Anilkumar (33), also from Imphal, has been picked up and put under watch at the hospitals where he is admitted due to poor health, the SP added.