Aizawl/Silchar: A top leader of a faction of the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) or HPC(D) was arrested by Assam Rifles and Assam police in Assam on Thursday night. The accused, Lalhmingthang Sanate, is a resident of Hmarkhawlien village in Assam’s Cachar district.
According to Assam Rifles sources, Sanate, who headed the HPC- D (President) faction or HPC-D (P), a splinter group of HPC(D) mainly active in Assam, was arrested during an operation at Ciripool area under Lakhipur police station in Assam’s Cachar district around 9 pm on Thursday.
The operation was launched jointly by SDPO of Lakhipur, 37 battalion of Assam Rifles and Army intelligence wing of Mashimpur.
Sanate is the main leader of the anti-talks faction of HPC(D) and has been involved in nefarious activities in violation of Suspension of Operation (SoO) signed between Assam government and HPC(D), the Assam Rifles sources said.
During the raid, one .32 bore pistol with two live rounds and a mobile phone were recovered from him, the sources added.
A case has been registered against the militant leader at Lakhipur police station.
The 53-year-old rebel leader was suspected to be the mastermind behind the killing of Jubilee Lungtau, a civilian at Hmarkhawlien village near Lakhipur in March.
On February 22, 2018, Sanate was arrested by Assam police from his hideout in Tezpur in northern Assam in connection with the murder of HPC(D) finance secretary Nobar Sanate. Later, he was released on bail.
Lalhmingthanga Sanate, a St Anthony College (Shillong) graduate, was the president of HPC-(D), an offshoot of the erstwhile underground Hmar People’s Convention (HPC), that came to exist in 1995.
He was expelled by the HPC(D) for signing agreement with Kuki National Organisation (KNO) against the interest of the militant group and was heading HPC-D (P) faction since then.
The faction carried out activities in Mizoram and Assam Manipur border areas.