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Arunachal Pradesh Timeline - 2008

Date Incident

January 27

Police arrested Tikhon Mossang, an 'assistant section officer' of the NSCN-IM, while playing cards with a government employee in the residence of Tingpong Wangham, former Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, at Senki park in the capital Itanagar. Mossang has served extortion notices to several Ministers, high-ranking government officials and politicians.

March 31

Army recovered US $100000 from a ULFA hideout at Mimi zone of Manabhum reserve forest. "The Ulfa militants managed to escape with their weapons taking advantage of the darkness, but our troops found the bag containing the cash," Colonel Harbir Singh, Commanding Officer of 11 Sikh Light Infantry, says.

April 21

Nagaland Post quoting Government sources reports that a Unified Command Structure would be set up in Arunachal Pradesh to combat militants from neighbouring Assam and Nagaland who are using the mountainous region as a base to carry out their hit-and-run guerrilla strikes. Militant groups like the ULFA are reportedly setting up well-entrenched bases in the Tirap, Changlang, and Lohit districts. "The Unified Command that is likely to be initiated would be similar to the one currently operational in Assam," an unnamed senior official says. "The ULFA is not only setting up bases in the state but also using Arunachal Pradesh as a transit to Myanmar. We cannot allow our State to be used by militants from other states for anti-national activities," he states.

One Police official said, "Extortion and kidnappings are common place in parts of Tirap and Changlang districts by the NSCN. The area is gradually becoming a lawless region." Meanwhile, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had earlier said that the NSCN-K was on a recruitment drive in the State and abducted more than 50 local tribal youths to join the outfit. "These are serious issues and we cannot allow our peaceful state to be vitiated," he says. The report adds that while the overall head of the Unified Command would be Chief Minister Khandu, general officer commanding of the army's Four Corps based in Assam's northern town of Tezpur Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal would command the operations.

May 22

A top ULFA leader, identified as Suren Borah alias Baba Sonowal, was arrested by the Army from Pasighat in the East Siang District. Borah was functioning as an important part in the outfit's operation in Arunachal Pradesh as 'company commander' of the Charlie Company of the outfit's '28th Battalion'. According to Army sources, "Bora was responsible mainly for providing logistical support to the members of the outfit who use Arunachal Pradesh as a major corridor for launching operations in Upper Assam."

The sources also added that, "He used to ferry all articles for the cadres of the outfit. Arms, camp materials, clothes, food, medicines; you name it and he used to arrange it." Borah who was a constable in Assam Police was first arrested in 1992 for storing arms for ULFA. He was released later but he did not come back to join the Police force. Instead, he joined ULFA and went underground.

June 17

Two militants of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were killed during an encounter with Army personnel at Bandarkhati Khamti village in the Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. One pistol, a revolver and an IED weighing ten kilograms were recovered from them.

August 29

The Arunachal Pradesh Police arrested four persons, including a 'major' of the NSCN-IM for running an extortion racket in the capital Itanagar. They are identified as Nokngam Wangsa, the NSCN-IM 'major', Wangnam Nokte, a former Assam Regiment trooper, Janlung Wangpan and Oyar Panor, a peon at the civil secretariat in Itanagar. Panor, a local resident, used to act as a linkman in the extortion racket. Police also recover INR 110000 from Nokte, besides two mobile phone sets. Wangsa has contacted Panor, who accompanied him to the house of a former Minister, on August 27 and August 28, 2008 and demanded money.

December 1

At least 14 youths were abducted by the NSCN-IM cadres from the Ninu village under Wakka circle of Tirap District in Arunachal Pradesh in November 2008, as part of its ongoing recruitment drive. The report added that a local man of Ninu village, suspected to be a NSCN-IM cadre, had recruited 16 youths from the village, besides two from Longsom area, three from Bera area and one from Konsa area in the District, with a target to recruit 50 youths from Khonsa, Longding and Kanubari circles.





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