By Adam Halliday
Aizawl, Apr 21 : Three arrested cadres of the Hmar People’s Convention Democratic (HPCD) militant group including it’s “army chief” Lalropuia Famhoite and “finance secretary” Norbar Sanate were on Monday sent to judicial custody by an Aizawl court.
The trio, including a self-styled private, were arrested by Mizoram Police at Ramnagar near Silchar, the main town in Assam’s Cachar district, last Thursday. They were remanded to three days police custody for questioning after they were brought to Aizawl.
The men have initially been charged under extortion cases in two northern Mizoram villages last year but they have all denied their involvement during the court hearing Monday.
“Our cadres are active in the area and they must have been involved but we were not directly involved ourselves,” Sanate claimed.
Famhoite also denied before the court that he had any knowledge of the March 28 ambush on a convoy of three Mizoram MLAs that killed three policemen and injured six other people, and also claimed he does not remember how many cases he has pending against him.
“Our commanders must have acted on their own. I was given no information about it,” he said, claiming he has not been active in the militant group for more than a year due to ill health.
Investigators have meanwhile said the men could not have been left out of the ambush or the extortions since they are the most important leaders in the militant group since Famhoite controls the group’s arms and ammunition while Sanate controls it’s finances.
The nest date of hearing has been scheduled for May 1.