Gaidon, Stephen remanded to further police custody

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The United Naga Council (UNC) president, Gaidon Kamei and publicity and information secretary, Shangkhil Stephen were remanded to police custody for five more days by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal East, A Noutuneshori Devi.

They were arrested by Nungba police station on the charge of burning vehicles bearing Regd No MN 07C-376 loaded with rice at Sibilong, Tamenglong district along the NH-37 during the ongoing economic blockade.

Subsequently, the court allowed the detention of the UNC leaders by Nungba police custody for seven days during the last hearing for further investigation.

The current term for official detention having expired, the UNC leaders were produced before the court today.

During the appearance, the police submitted before the court that they had made significant breakthrough in the case and that the identities of four other leaders of the UNC, who were involved in burning down the truck have been established.

They have been identified as K Thomas, Kangkieng Pamei, David Kamei and James Inka. They are yet to be arrested.

Following the development, the investigating officer (IO) pleaded before the court to give further police custody for the UNC leaders as the other four officials of UNC are not yet arrested. Their arrest is required for speedy investigation of the case and also to complete the investigation.

However, the defense counsel strongly objected to the prayer of the IO for further police remand.

The defense counsel pleaded the court to grant bail for Gaidon and Stephen, as most of the charges levelled in this FIR are all bailable offences and they are not directly involved in the commission of the crime.

The counsel further argued that the present blockade involves political concerns and not a criminal offence.

After the hearing the court has given time, less than 10 days to complete the investigation.

The court will also consider the bail application on January 21.

The court directed the police to give due medical care and adequate food to the accused persons while they are in police custody.

Friends and families of the two UNC leaders were seen waiting for Gaidon and Stephen in the court complex. They wished good luck to the leaders.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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