Two NSCN-IM militants held from Assam railway station

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The army has apprehended two hardcore cadres of the NSCN-IM, the leading Naga militant outfit, from Tinsukia railway station in eastern Assam, defence officials said on Monday.

A Defence spokesman said that during the questioning, the NSCN-IM cadres, who were detained by troops of the Red Shield Division on Sunday night, revealed the location of a weapons cache on the outskirts of Tinsukia city. Subsequently, a search operation was launched and two 5.56 mm HK 33 rifles recovered, along with three magazines, 283 rounds, a hand grenade, two improvised explosive devices and other warlike stores.

The extremists have been handed over to Tinsukia police.

According to the defence spokesman, the NSCN-IM militants were earlier involved in a firefight with the Digboi battalion of the Army on March 23 at Longpha in Arunachal Pradesh.

After the gun battle, the security forces had also rescued a civilian from their custody and prevented a subversive action in upper Assam and south Arunachal Pradesh by the outfit, the spokesman said.

Both NSCN-IM cadres and the civilian are residents of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) and other Naga outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997 and in the subsequent years, held more than 85 rounds of political negotiations with the government since then.

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