Myanmarese blamed for arms smuggling

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Shillong, Jul 8 (UNI) Even as Meghalaya and Mizoram police were probing the arms smuggling, various Shillong-based Mizo Associations today claimed to have identified the owner of a vehicle, used to ferry arms and ammunition from Champhai bordering Myanmar.

On Saturday, the Customs sleuths along with Mizoram police seized 7 AK 47 rifles, one rocket launcher, one cell of rocket launcher, 13 rounds of nine mm pistol, ten live ammunition of AK 47 and an empty G-3 magazine from a Bolero bearing a Meghalaya registration number (ML05 D 1186) at the Vairengte checkgate bordering Assam.

Police also recovered another number plate bearing a Meghalaya registration number ML-05 C 6206 from inside the seized vehicle.

'' We have identified the owner of the seized vehicle. He is Khawneihmang, a Myanmarese national residing at Pdengshnong locality of Madanriting, '' Chairman of Mizo Community Council Lalhmuliana said.

Police officials, investigating the antecedents of Khawneihmang, alleged that the latter had close links with Assam-based militants.

'' Our preliminary investigations have revealed that Khawneihmang supply arms and ammunition to the Assam-based militant outfits - Dima Halam Daoga (DHD-J), United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and others, '' a senior Mizoram police official said.

Sources said the Myanmarese national also possessed large cultivable land in Umlaper village in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Today, the Mizo Community Council, Young Mizo Association and Mizo Senior Citizen Association had an emergency meeting and condemned the move of Khawneihmang to smuggle arms and ammunition to Shillong.

'' We will extend our cooperation to Meghalaya police in tracking down Khawneihmang, '' he said.

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