Self-styled militant commander held in Delhi

The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Monday said they have arrested a self-styled Commander-In-Chief of the Kuki National Front, Manipur.

According to DCP Pramod Khushwaha of the special cell, the militant identified as Mangkholam Kipgen was arrested from Dwarka in the national capital.

The police said Kipgen was wanted in various cases of kidnapping for ransom, arms snatching, firing, extortion and robbery registered in various police stations of Manipur.

“He was having a vast network of armed militants in Manipur and was planning the kidnapping of employees of a construction company involved in major projects and other establishments for ransom,” a Special Cell officer said.

On Sunday morning, information was received about Kipgen’s movement in the Dwarka area of Delhi. On the basis of this information, a police team laid a trap in Sector-7 of Dwarka. Kipgen came there and was apprehended after identification by an informer.

Furnishing more details about Kipgen’s record, the police said Kipgen came in contact with KNF cadres of his village in 2018 and got engaged with them in extortion, robberies, and dacoities. He soon became infamous for snatching weapons of forces, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and other crimes.

In June 2020, Kipgen declared himself Commander-in-Chief of the Kuki National Front.

On the intervening night of December 12-13, 2020, Kipgen along with his associates having sophisticated weapons overpowered and kidnapped two sentries of Kangvai Police outpost in Churachandpur district of Manipur and took away one INSAS rifle. In this case, 8 cadres have been arrested along with illegal weapons (4-SBBL guns and 2 pistols) and the stolen INSAS rifle, but he had been evading arrest.

In February this year, the self styled commander along with his associates abducted a Nepali national from Kalapahar in Churachandpur, Manipur for ransom. In this case, Kipgen’s younger brother Haopilun Kipgen of Haipi village and Lalkhohao of West Selsi village were arrested.

On the day of ‘Sahnit Ni’, the Kuki’s Black Day on September 13, 2021, the KNF declared a total shutdown in the state, restricting movement of vehicles and closing all administrative offices and business establishments. This group noticed the movement of a truck on National Highway 2 in Champhai area of Kangpokpi district and opened fire for violating their shutdown call.

“Manipur Police has been informed regarding his arrest and further interrogation is underway,” an official said.