NIA arrests 3 Kuki militants, seizes arms & ammos


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jul 9: In a major breakthrough, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested three suspected Kuki militants along with a large number of arms and ammunition from the residence of Tonghen Haokip, chief of L Hengjol village, Kangpokpi  district under New Kei-thelmanbi police station during a cordon and search operation this morning.
The search operation was carried out with the assistance of a combined team of CRPF, Assam Rifles and State Police.  
Based on specific information about the movement of armed militants in and around Hengjol village who are involved in the present ethnic violence in the State, a team of NIA, assisted by a combined team of CRPF, Assam Rifles and State Police rushed to the spot and cordoned off Hengjol village since the wee hours, sources said.
When the team proceeded toward Hengjol village, Kuki womenfolk prevented the security personnel from entering the village.
Despite repeated appeals by the NIA team and the security forces to give them way, the womenfolk continued to block their way, resulting in a heated argument between the two sides.
Subsequently, the security forces fired some rounds of tear gas shells and dispersed the unruly crowd.
After dispersing the crowd, the NIA team and the security forces moved to the village, said the sources.
When the combined team approached the village, suspected Kuki militants opened fire toward the combined team. The combined team retaliated by firing some rounds of bullets.
Later during the cordon and search operation, three suspected Kuki militants were arrested along with recovery of a huge cache of arms, ammunition and other items from the residence of the L Hengjol village chief.
According to the sources, the arrested persons have been identified as Thangjoel Haokip alias Thangboi (19) s/o Ngamkholun of Gam-phajang, Chura-chandpur, Jangjoulen Khongsai alias Goulen Khongsai (19) s/o Songhen Khongsai of Veitumkholen near Kotlen Army camp, staying at Old Gelmol village, Chura-chandpur at present and Jangminlun Singson alias Franky (45) of Bethel, Churachandpur.  
The recovered items included a bag containing 236 live rounds of 303 rifle and a single round of 12 bore gun, one bag containing 485 live rounds of AK rifle along with one empty magazine, one camouflage bag containing 661 live rounds of Insas rifle, two AK rifles along with two magazines, one foreign made MK II rifle with magazine, three empty magazines of AK rifle, five empty magazines of Insas rifle, one empty magazine of MK II rifle, one single barrel gun, two walkie talkie sets along with battery and charger, 29 shoulder badges with star symbols (red, white green colour), one camera, three magazines, one identity card of Public Works Department issued in the name of village chief Tonghen Haokip and a blank cheque in the name of village chief Tonghen Haokip.
Soon after their arrest, all of them were taken inside a camp of Central forces where they were interrogated with regard to their involvement in the 14 months old violent crisis.
Later the arrested persons were taken to Tulihal International Airport under tight security measures. From the airport, they were airlifted to Delhi in an Indian Air Force plane at around 7 pm for further investigation and necessary legal procedure.  
According to the sources, NIA might have carried out the raid in connection with a case re-registered by them after taking over the same case from New Keithelmanbi police station.
The case relates to damaging two legs of the 400 KV double circuit Silchar-Imphal power grid electric tower installed at Kotlen village using high intensity explosive devices on April 18, 2024.