The prime accused in the terrorist attack on Assam Rifles personnel at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima on March 26 this year, was on Friday arrested in Bengaluru by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and the city police.
The New Indian Express quoted NIA officer saying, “He was detained from a lodge on M G Road and later arrested after confirmation of his identity. During preliminary interrogation, he has confessed his involvement in the crime. He was hiding using a false identity and working at local lodge with the assistance of his relatives.”
According to media reports, the arrested 27-year-old Atoshe Chopey is a cadre of banned outfit Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)(NSCN(K)) and a resident of Zunheboto district of Nagaland.
“Chopey is a member of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland led by S S Khaplang (NSCN-K) which is a banned terrorist group in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” police said.
The accused reportedly confessed his involvement in Kohima attack.
NIA, in a release, claimed that Chopey, is an active cadre of the armed wing of NSCN (K). He was a part of a four-member team which attacked with AK rifles and pistols on an unarmed group of Assam Rifles personnel awaiting a bus at a bus stop in Kohima during which an Assam Rifle personnel was killed in the attack and three were badly injured. The attack marked the rejection of long-standing ceasefire between NSCN(K) and the central government.
“NIA had taken up the case in May 2015. They had arrested two NSCN (K) cadres Khekaho Rochill, the Finance Secretary of NSCN (K) and Kisheto Ayem Major, Town Commander of Kohima of NSCN (K) in the case. In November, they also arrested Ranjit Thapa, who was the driver of the car which was used in the shootout . The investigators have been closely tracking the group of four absconding accused involved in the shoot-out and based on specific inputs developed Atoshe was tracked to a location near MG Road in Bengaluru,” NIA said.
He was produced before the local Magistrate in Bengaluru and NIA will secure transit remand for producing him before NIA Special Judge in Dimapur in the coming days, NIA official added.