Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by SPN Editor
Kangpokpi/ October 04, 2023 (SPN) | Satkhothang Kipgen alias Satthang, who had previously been believed to be killed during the ongoing Kuki-Meitei conflict, was apprehended by the Manipur police on Tuesday.
Satkhothang Kipgen, a 50-year-old resident of Bijang Village, New Keithelmanbi in Kangpokpi district was hailed as a “fallen hero defending our ancestral land and freedom” by the KSO Media Cell. The KSO had initially reported Satkhothang’s demise on September 30, 2023.
However, this fake martyred, Satkhothang Kipgen was discovered by a team from the New Keithelmanbi Police Station near Longjang Village along the National Highway. His disappearance had led to allegations of abduction by armed Meitei individuals, with CoTU Media Cell Coordinator Ng Lun Kipgen claiming that he had been taken by armed Meitei miscreants on September 30.
A shutdown had been called on NH 37 in protest of this alleged abduction, and it was to continue until the individual was released. However, on Tuesday, the police located him.
According to Satkhothang’s account, he couldn’t recall how or where he got lost. When he regained his senses, he found himself on a hillslope in Haibung Village, far from his home. He sought shelter in a farm hut and decided to rest there. It was after he descended from the hill that the police found him near Longjang Village.
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Satthang admitted to being heavily intoxicated when he boarded a vehicle from Bijang Village on September 30.
Similarly, another individual named Thangkhochon Haokip from Chandel district, who tragically lost his life in a road accident, was portrayed as a war hero by the KSO. This portrayal highlights how certain Kuki leaders are making efforts to escalate the conflict.
Satkhothang Kipgen alias Satthang had gained notoriety as a ‘fallen hero’ due to a poster circulated by the KSO Media Cell, which erroneously suggested he had perished in the ongoing conflict. The poster featured his photo and depicted a man giving a salute.
This incident has cast doubt on previous claims of casualties among the Chin Kuki community during the conflict, raising questions about how these claims were widely publicized in the national media.