New Delhi, June 6: The National Investigating Agency which will probe the Manipur attack in which 18 soldiers lost their lives has its task cut out. Officers in the NIA will not only have to probe and find out the group behind the attack, but also look into the intelligence failure.
There has been a clear case of intelligence failure officials say. The same has been confirmed by Manipur Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh as well.
NIA officials who are yet to take over the probe formally say that there are various aspects that they would be looking into.
Local support appeared to be strong:
Preliminary investigations have found that the local support for the militants who carried out the attack was extremely strong. There is very little that has been done to ensure that information regarding the movement of army officials and police personnel is not leaked.
The NIA says that it would visit the spot and also the near by villages and find out if modules exist. It has been reported several times that modules of these North Eastern militant groups thrive in villages and the local informers are the ones who are tipping off the terrorists.
The NIA will revisit the investigations being conducted following the arrest of Khekaho Rochill who is a finance secretary in the NSCN(K).he was arrested at Dimapur, Nagaland. The NIA says that he had played a key role in supporting the financial activities of the North Eastern militant groups. The NIA had found incriminating material from his laptop and mobile phones.
Source of weapons:
The attack on Thursday also showed that the militants were fully prepared. More importantly the kind of weapons that they have used is also alarming. They have managed to source sophisticated weapons which helped them carry out an attack with such precision.
There are many routes through which the weapons reach these North eastern militant groups. The primary source has been China, but in the past couple of years, some of the weapons have also been routed in through Bangladesh.
There are also modules of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Harkat ul-Jihadi Islami which have been operating in the North East and also Myanmar. The Lashkar which has landed in Myanmar two years back has been a source of both funds and weapons for the North Eastern militant groups.
Army to probe intelligence failure:
The army will also conduct a probe into the matter. The primary focus of the army however would be to probe into the intelligence failure which was very clear in this attack.
Army officials say that the attack was masterminded by a person called Lamkang Starson who is part of the new outfit called the United Liberation Front of Western South Asia.
This newly constituted umbrella group comprises the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN(K), Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songajit) and also the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation.
The army officials say that investigations have found that nearly 70 persons had taken part in the attack. The militants were determined to carry out this attack and had even formed back up teams, officials also add.