A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of Alemla Jamir, a self-styled "cabinet minister" of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah, in a case of alleged terror funding, saying there was evidence that the insurgent group was running a parallel government in Nagaland.
Special Judge Shailender Malik, who also dismissed the bail application of Jamir's co-accused, Masasasong Ao, noted that though there were talks of ceasefire between the NSCN-IM and the central government, it was made clear in those agreements that only the army, paramilitary forces and the local police would have the power of patrolling and the NSCN would not undertake any offensive operations such as ambush, raid, sniping and attack on any of the property of the state.
"Coupled with the fact that arms were recovered at the instance of Jamir, there is also evidence showing running of parallel government which was never acknowledged under any peace accord," the judge said.
"All these clearly established that accusation against the accused appears to be true and authenticated. Moreover, husband of Jamir is already absconding to China as such there is likelihood of applicants to flee away from judicial process and to influence local witnesses also," he said.
The case was lodged after Jamir was intercepted at the Delhi airport while she was about to travel to Dimapur, and she was also found carrying Rs 72 lakh.
The bail application moved by Jamir's counsel advocate MS Khan claimed that there were ongoing peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) for the last several decades, and that it was not a terrorist organisation.
It was stated that she has been facing incarceration for the last more than two years and the case was still at the initial stages of trial.
Advocate Qausar Khan, appearing for Masasasong Ao, claimed that he was neither a terrorist nor has helped in raising funds for any terrorist organisation.
In its order passed on December 12, the court said that "there can hardly be any denial to the fact that there have been talks of peace accord due to local unrest, between the government of India and different organisations including NSCN in the State of Nagaland and certain ceasefire/peace agreement have been signed."
"However, going through the entire ceasefire agreements/joint declarations etc. would clearly show that sovereignty and integrity of India has not been compromised at any stage. The Government of India has signed agreements with the NSCN for peace and harmony, within the framework of the Constitution of India. None of terms of agreement permit any organisation to commit any illegal activity or offence," the court noted.
It noted that rather it has been made clear in agreements that it is only the army, paramilitary forces and local police would have the power of patrolling to prevent infiltration of militants and arms and ammunition.
It was also agreed under the said agreement that the NSCN would not undertake any offensive operations such as ambush, raid, sniping and attack on any of the property of the state, he observed.
He said however, according to the allegations made by the National Investigation Agency not only arms and ammunition were recovered at the instance of Jamir from her house, but also different documentary evidence showing transfer of huge amount of money in different bank accounts were found.
"There has not been any explanation as to how and from which sources such money was received as none of the peace agreement acknowledge running of parallel 'government by any other organisation including the NSCN-IM,” it said.
The court said that there were evidence of transfer of huge amount by both the accused to be used terrorist activities of the NSCN-IM at the instance of Jamir's husband who is still in China.
The NIA opposed the bail application, saying there were sufficient incriminating evidence in the form of statement of witnesses, digital evidence establishing that both the accused, along with others, had entered into a criminal conspiracy.
They were directly involved in raising, collecting terror funds for the NSCN-IM, a terrorist gang, through illegal means of extortion and by giving out loans at higher rate of interest with the knowledge that such funds are likely to be used for terrorist activities of NSCN, it said.
The NIA said Jamir husband Phungthing Shimrang was an absconding accused as he escaped to China and if bail is granted to her, it was highly possibility of her also escaping from the judicial process.
According to the NIA, on December 17, 2019, Jamir was intercepted by Central Industrial Security Force security personnel at the airport while she was about to travel from New Delhi to Dimapur and she was found carrying cash of Rs 72 lakh.
In her statement she said cash belonged to NSCN-IM and the same was handed over to her on the directions of NSCN-IM general secretary Muivah.
It came in the investigation that Shimrang was a member of the steering committee of the NSCN-IM and its commander-in-chief.
It was found that money was to be used for carrying out operations of terrorist gang NSCN-IM and other terrorist activities in India.