IMPHAL: The self-proclaimed chief of the Kuki Independent Army (KIA) was killed in suspected fratricidal clash within the ranks of the militia group at Thangjing Range in the early hours of Saturday. It was also reported that Thangkhongam Haokip’s accomplice, Johny Guite, was also found killed at the same location.
The details surrounding Haokip’s death however remain shrouded in mystery. Reports in local media have linked the death to an assault on a man from a community that is not involved in the ongoing clash between the Meiteis and the Kukis.
Haokip, also known as Davidson or Pareng Kom, had been on the radar of law enforcement agencies for quite some time. On April 5, the government had announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for information leading to his arrest or death. He was declared the “most wanted” criminal in Manipur by the local police due to his association with the KIA and Kuki Independent Organisation (KIO).
Hailing from Matijang Khopi village in Manipur’s Churachandpur district, near the border with Myanmar, Haokip had been a prominent figure in the region’s militant landscape. News of his death has sent shockwaves through the region, and authorities are closely monitoring the situation to prevent any further escalation of violence.
As investigations into the circumstances of Haokip’s death and the alleged fratricidal clash continue, the people of Manipur remain on edge, hoping for a resolution to the ongoing conflict and an end to the violence that has plagued their land.
Meanwhile, in light of the escalating tensions and the volatile situation, 10 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) were flown into the state on Saturday. These 10 companies comprise personnel from the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The deployment aims to restore peace and maintain law and order in the area amid the recent developments.