Kalapahar kidnapping orchestrated by Mangkholam and his gang: KNF

By FrontierManipur | Published On 20th Feb, 2021, 10:10 GMT+0530

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KNF also warned that it will take befitting action against those “WhatsApp warriors” who have been constantly updating their WhatsApp posts and profile to malign the image of KNF

TFM Desk

Kuki National Front (KNF) has clarified that that the outfit was not involved in the Kalapahar kidnapping incident in which armed miscreants had abducted Tikaram Rizal for ransom. The outfit also warned against the “WhatsApp warriors” who are trying to malign the image of KNF.

The KNF information and publicity secretary, Lh Stephen said that on February 16 evening, a domestic helper of a shop in Kalapahar bazar, Tikaram Rizal was abducted by three kidnappers. They sent a WhatsApp message to the relative of the victim identifying themselves as KNF from Saikul.

On hearing the news, the KNF, who has been under Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with the government of India since 2008, understood the “malicious and sinister” intention of the kidnappers. Since the night of abduction, search teams were sent out to all suspected locations. However, there were individuals and organisations trying very hard to put the blame on the KNF, he added.

He continued that on February 18 at around 11 am, the hideout of the kidnappers along with the hostage was spotted by KNF’s source. Then, the kidnappers left the hideout on being spotted while a joint operation was immediately launched where two suspected persons — Haopilun Kipgen of Haipi village and Lalkhohao of West Selsi village were caught coming down from the periphery of the suspected hideout.

The duo were detained and thoroughly interrogated who finally confessed that they delivered food and basic items to them (kidnappers) in the morning. It was then confirmed that the kidnapping was carried out by Mangkholam Kipgen (27), son of Lhunkhohao Kipgen of Haipi village and his gang. The helper, Haopilun Kipgen (20) is the younger brother of Mangkholam Kipgen, Stephen added.

Subsequently, intensive operation was carried out in the jungle between Thomjang and Haipi village. Mangkholam Kipgen and his gang on learning our movement moved to the mountain top above Haipi while Mangkholam Kipgen spoke to his brother Haopilun who was detained for interrogation to run away and that he would save him, Stephen said.

The KNF information and publicity secretary added that the operation was called off due to darkness and waited for the next day. Early morning, Mangkholam Kipgen, the mastermind of the kidnapping called the hostage family and told them that he had released Tikaram Rizal in a Nepali village above Haipi, added Stephen.

Security forces recovered the hostage safe and sound. Stephen also claimed that they have the names and details of people who have been helping Mangkholam Kipgen and his gang since the last three months.

According to Stephen, Mangkholam Kipgen was also involved in the weapon snatching case at Kangvai Police Station. He also urged the security forces to book Mangkholam Kipgen and his cohorts who are at large, targeting minority communities in Kangpokpi district, especially the Nepalese.

Meanwhile, KNF also warned that it will take befitting action against those WhatsApp warriors who have been constantly updating their WhatsApp posts and profile to malign the image of KNF. 

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