Arrested NSCN cadres (File image).

Four hardcore NSCN (IM) rebels were arrested from the Merapani area along the Assam-Nagaland border and a huge cache of arms and ammunition was seized from their possession.

As per reports, acting on intelligence input about the presence of NSCN (IM) militants, troops of Assam rifles in the wee hours on Saturday launched an operation in the jungles at Mikirang and Nagabasti in the Merapani area along the border.

During the operation, the team of Assam Rifles troops managed to nab four cadres of the Naga rebel outfit.

The team recovered five rifles including Ak-47, Ak 56, M-16 and HK rifles and 449 live bullets besides some incriminating items from their possession.

The arrested militants were later handed over to the Nagaland police.

It is suspected that NSCN (IM) cadres were camping in the area to carry out subversive activities in the run-up to Independence Day.

The NSCN (IM), which had several rounds of negotiations with the Indian government in Delhi as well as outside India after signing a ceasefire pact in August 1997, is one of the most influential rebel groups in the northeastern region.

The BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had signed a “framework agreement” with the NSCN-IM leadership in 2015.

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi is also the Centre’s interlocutor to hold talks with NSCN (IM) and other Naga outfits.

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