The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday raided the residence of Manipur Congress MLA Yamthong Haokip in Imphal and recovered five pistols, including one missing weapon which was stolen from DG pool kote (armoury) within the premises of 2nd Manipur Rifles, that had gone missing between September 2016 and early 2017. Besides this, NIA also recovered four other weapons, with and without license along with live ammunition.
The Manipur government had reportedly purchased a consignment of 570 numbers of 9mm pistols on September 11, 2014, for use by the state’s security forces. Of these, 56 numbers of 9 mm pistols, along with 59 magazines went missing from the armoury which was guarded at all times. The NIA has been investigating the case after Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh moved the Centre to hand over the case to NIA for a thorough investigation. On 30th May, the case was handed over to the NIA and an FIR was filed on 2nd June.
During the investigation, the NIA had arrested nine persons and recovered 3 of the 56 missing 9 mm pistols from various militant groups of Manipur. During the interrogation of the accused, they reportedly revealed the involvement of Yamthong Haokip, a Congress MLA representing Saikul constituency in Manipur.
In the raid at the MLA’s residence, cash of Rs 26.40 lakh, gold ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh, a 9mm pistol (missing from the DG armoury), a Beretta pistol, a US-made Tomcat-32 pistol with magazine, another unlicensed pistol, two guns and 45 rounds of ammunition, including that of AK series, were recovered.
During the raid, Yamthong Haokip complained of chest pain and is admitted to ICU as NIA waits to carry out further investigation.