KNF clarifies over Kalapahar kidnapping incident, warns 'WhatsApp warriors'

Our Correspondent
KANGPOKPI, Feb 20: The Kuki National Front, an entity of the Indo-Kuki Political Talks clarified its non-involvement in the Kalapahar kidnapping incident and warned alleged WhatsApp warriors maligning the image of the outfit.
The outfit 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 that they were KNF from Saikul. On hearing the news, Kuki National Front, who have been under Suspension of Operations agreement with the Government of India since 2008 have understood the malicious and sinister intention of the kidnappers. Since the night of abduction, search teams have been sent out on all suspected locations. However, there were individuals and organizations trying very hard to put the blame on us, he added.
Lh Stephen continued that on February 18 morning, the hideout of the kidnappers along with the hostage was spotted by our source. A joint operation was immediately launched, where two suspected persons, namely, 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, after which they finally confessed that they delivered food and basic items to kidnappers in the morning. It was then confirmed that the kidnapping was carried out by Mangkholam Kipgen (27), S/o Lhunkhohao Kipgen of Haipi village and his gang. The helper, Haopilun Kipgen(20) is the younger brother of Mangkholam Kipgen, he added.
Subsequently, an intensive operation was carried out in the jungle between Thomjang and Haipi village. Mangkholam Kipgen and his gang on learning of the movement fled urging his brother Haopilun who was detained, to run away and that he would save him, he added.
The next morning, Mangkholam Kipgen, mastermind of the kidnapping called the hostage family and informed them that the abducted Tikaram Rizal had been released at a Nepali village above Haipi. Later the security forces recovered the hostage safe and sound, said Lh Stephen.
He further mentioned that KNF have all the names and details of the people who have been helping Mangkholam Kipgen and his gang since the last three months.
It should not be forgotten that Mangkholam Kipgen was involved in the weapon snatching case at Kangvai Police Station, he asserted.
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.