Northeast extortion group with Mumbai links

April 12th, 2012 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Itanagar, April 12 (IANS) A militant outfit Thursday threatened those involved in the illegal trade of coal, timber and stone from two Arunachal Pradesh districts. Police say it is headed by a former sharpshooter of Mumbai’s ‘D Company’ and the threat is meant to extort money from traders.

On Thursday, the United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) vowed to stop the existing illegal trade from Lohit and Changlang districts and cautioned people engaged in the business. It is headed by Sumona Munlang, once a trusted sharpshooter of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim’s gang, say police.

Munlang has not only started a militant outfit but also sought to attain an autonomous district council by clubbing together some areas of Lohit and Changlang districts through armed struggle.

A senior police official said Munlang started the group with about 12 cadres, but it now has around 70 members.

“Besides, the outfit has been extorting money from traders in the two districts,” the official said.

He said Munlang was arrested in 2002 by Arunachal Pradesh police but managed to escape and went to Mumbai later. In Mumbai, he joined the Dawood’s gang and worked for them for a few years.

“He came back to Arunachal Pradesh in 2010 and started the UPDF,” the official said adding some cadres of the lesser known militant outfit - Tai-Khamti Liberation Front - also joined the group.

“They provide preliminary arms and guerilla warfare training to cadres at the Manabhum Reserve Forest spread between the two districts of Changlang and Lohit in eastern Arunachal Pradesh,” he said adding a few of the cadres of the outfit had also been sent to Myanmar for advanced arms training.

The outfit operates mainly in Sunpura, Chowkham, Wakro, Namsai, Mahadevpur, Piyong circles in Lohit district and Diyun, Bordumsa and Vijaynagar circles of Changlang district, police say.

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