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Central agency gets custody of rebel chief

Mithu Choudhury
Guwahati, December 4, 2010: Arrested chairman of Manipur-based extremist group United National Liberation Front (UNLF), RK Meghen, was on Friday produced in a special court in Assam state capital Guwahati, which remanded him in custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

He was produced in the special court and after hearing both sides, the court remanded him in 13 days custody of the NIA, Meghen legal counsel M Gunedhar Singh told Media

We made three appeals that he be remanded in the NIA custody at the most for 13 days; that he is interrogated in the presence of his lawyers, and that his health check-up is done every alternate day. The court agreed to all of our appeals,   he said.

It was learnt that the NIA had sought 20 days custody of the UNLF chief. The counsel said Meghen had told the court that he was detained in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September 29 and brought to Motihari in Bihar via Kolkata only on November 30. Meghen had made a similar statement before media while being brought out of the court.

He was given only water and no food while being brought to Kolkata from Jessore in Bangladesh, the counsel said quoting the UNLF chief. His health appears to be fine. But mentally, he is certainly down after over 60 days of secret detention, the counsel added.

However, we will get to know of the condition of his health in a couple of days when he undergoes a health check-up, added.

The NIA had claimed that Meghen was arrested in Motihari, Bihar on November 30.  

There is no official confirmation of the whereabouts of the UNLF chief but unconfirmed sources indicate that he is in the guest house of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Guwahati.  

Earlier a division bench of Imphal (Manipur) bench of the Guwahati High Court directed the union and Manipur state governments to declare whereabouts of Meghan alias Sanayaima after hearing the writ petition moved by his wife Ibemnungshi.