NIA arrests key accused in transnational conspiracy to exacerbate Manipur violence

Image Source : PTI (FILE) Manipur violence

Manipur violence: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested a key accused from Imphal airport in a case relating to a transnational conspiracy by insurgents and terrorist gangs to exacerbate the Manipur violence and spread terror in the northeastern states. 

Thongminthang Haokip alias Thangboi Haokip alias Roger, a member of the Kuki National Front-Military Council (KNF-MC), has been arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case registered suo motu by the NIA on July 19 last year, the NIA said in a statement.

What do NIA investigations find?

As per the NIA investigations, the conspiracy had been hatched by Kuki and Zomi insurgents backed by terrorist organisations based in the north-eastern states and in neighbouring Myanmar with the aim to exploit the current ethnic unrest in the region and wage war against the government of India through violent attacks. 

The accused was found to have been involved in attacks on security forces at various places during the ongoing insurgency and violence. 

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

“NIA investigations have revealed the accused had met the leaders of PDF/KNF-B (Myanmar) for supply of arms, ammunition and explosives for use in the current phase of violence in Manipur,” the statement said.

He has admitted to have participated in several armed attacks against security forces and on the opposite group in the current crisis in the state.

“He has also admitted being a member of Kuki National Front- Military Council and United Tribal Volunteers (UTV),” it added.

Further investigations are continuing to identify and track others involved in the conspiracy and scuttle the terrorist outfits’ plans to destroy the peace and stability of the northeastern region, the NIA said.

Manipur violence

Clashes first broke out in the northeastern state on May 3, 2023, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to restore peace. 

More than 200 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out a month ago. Thousands of people are reported to be in refugee camps outside the state and lakhs of men, women and children have been displaced. The state government has imposed a curfew on 11 districts and suspended internet services.

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