The National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced on Thursday the arrest of Thongminthang Haokip, also known as Thangboi Haokip or Roger, a ‘commander’ from the Kuki National Front-Military Council (KNF-MC).

Haokip, who has alleged connections with Myanmar-based rebel outfits, was detained at Imphal airport in connection with a suo-motu case registered by the NIA’s New Delhi unit in July last year, Deccan Herald reported.

The NIA’s statement indicated that Haokip played a significant role in orchestrating attacks on security forces amid the ongoing insurgency and violence in Manipur.

“He was in touch with the insurgent group, Kuki National Front (KNF)-B of Myanmar, for logistics support to aggravate the volatile situation in Manipur and create terror in the minds of the people,” the agency said.

Since the violence erupted in May last year, at least 225 people have lost their lives, and more than 60,000 have been displaced, caught in the conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has repeatedly asserted that Kuki insurgents, with ties to Myanmar-based rebel groups, were involved in the attacks on the Meitei community.

Conversely, Kuki organizations have leveled similar accusations, claiming that Meitei rebel groups with bases in Myanmar were responsible for attacks on the Kuki-Zo people. The NIA’s investigation revealed that Haokip had met with leaders of the People’s Defence Force/KNF-B (Myanmar) to arrange for arms, ammunition, and explosives to be used in the current phase of violence in Manipur.

MTNews Desk

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