Manipur: Mark T Haokip re-arrested on charge of an insurgent group’s leader

Imphal, May 31 2022: Mark Thangmang Haokip who is currently lodged in police custody has turned out to be a leader of an insurgent group called Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland (GPDRK) .

Briefing media persons at Imphal West District Police headquarters this afternoon, IGP (Zone-I) Themthing Ngasangva conveyed that Mark Thangmang Haokip (37) s/o Limkhosei Haokip of Molnom village, Churachandpur is the self-styled president of a militant outfit called GPDRK.

According to the IGP (Zone-I), Mark T Haokip has confessed to this fact.

Even though Mark T Haokip was granted bail by the Court of CJM, Imphal West yesterday, he was re-arrested by police yesterday in connection with another FIR case.

On further investigation and questioning, Mark T Haokip reportedly disclosed that there are other people who are holding the posts of GPDRK secretary, secretary political affairs and press secretary.

This was confirmed by the press release issued by them and their website domain, Themthing Ngasangva said.

He said that the primary goal of GPDRK is establishment of an independent hill country/Kuki country. Hence he was arrested yesterday at around 6.40 pm under different sections of IPC and Sections 17 & 18 of UA(P) Act, the IGP said.

They have been waging war against the State in the garb of human rights group after forming GPDRK.

Using different social media platforms, the group was actively indulging in propaganda warfare apart from spewing venom with an ulterior motive to sow seeds of misunderstanding and conflict among different communities, Themthing Ngasangva said.

Apart from using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc to spread their hidden agenda, the outfit owns and uses a web domain to spread its propaganda and raise fund for organisational activities, the IGP (Zone-I) informed.

Themthing Ngasangva further informed that one laptop, two pen drives, one round seal of IHRA, one line seal of president IHRA, one line seal of general secretary IHRA, one line seal of Director IHRA Indo-Myanmar and Indo-Bangladesh and some incriminating documents including his diary that contains sensitive materials were seized from the possession of Mark T Haokip.

The seized items have been sent for forensic examination, he said.

The IGP (Zone-I) added that further investigation is on.

DIG (Range-I) K Kabib and Imphal West SP Ksh Shivakanta were also present at the press meet.

Notably, Mark Thangmang Haokip was arrested by Manipur Police from Kishangarh, New Delhi on May 24 .

He was brought to Imphal on May 27 and produced before the Court of CJM, Imphal West yesterday.

Although Mark Haokip was granted bail by the Court of CJM Imphal West yesterday in connection with an FIR registered against him for posting derogatory statements on Facebook and Twitter, the same Court denied him bail today.

The Court remanded Mark Thangmang Haokip to police custody for five days.

He is charged with being president of an outfit called GPDRK and involvement in a conspiracy for secession from India and waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India.

The defence counsel of Mark T Haokip filed remand objection along with a prayer for releasing him on bail.

On the other hand, APP submitted that the alleged accused during his preliminary interrogation confessed that he is a self-styled president of the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland.

Moreover, it has also been established that the website by the domain name, www.kukigovt.com is owned by the alleged accused with the purpose to propagate their ideas of an independent Kuki Nation.

A copy of press release dated 23/10/2019 signed by the alleged accused and three other members in their letter head i.e.Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland was seized and the said press release clearly stated that “Neighboring countries must respect the sovereign rights of the Kukis thereby implying that there exists the sovereign Kukiland”, the APP submitted.

The APP further submitted that the accused in his statement has admitted raising funds to finance his organisation by openly uploading an account number on the said website.

Thus there exists prima facie evidence of the alleged accused conspiring criminally for the purpose of waging or attempting to wage or abetting war against the Government of India, the APP said.

On the other hand, the defence Counsel submitted that whatever the accused have uploaded in the website or social media was directly or indirectly copied from one writer namely, Brigadier Sushilkumar Sharma and he had already regretted it.

The defence counsel argued there are no incriminating articles to substantiate the claim that the accused was trying to wage war against India.

The defence counsel further submitted that the alleged accused is a human rights activist settled at Delhi and he has no criminal antecedent and whatever the accused has written or posted in the social media are well within the rights guaranteed by Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India.

The defence counsel also expressed his discontentment that so many people from other communities have been using the same platform in Twitter and Facebook to spew communal hatred but none of them have been arrested and the present accused has been targeted alone in connection with the publication of his thoughts in the social media.

The Court, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and on perusal of the case record, observed that some of the allegations made against the accused seemed to be of serious nature and the seized articles including the extract from the alleged website i.e www.kukigovt.com seemed to be quite incriminating.

The Court then remanded Mark Thangmang Haokip to police custody for five days till June 4 for smooth investigation of the case.

The Court forbade the IO to take the accused to the JIC, Kangla for interrogation but advised to conduct interrogation within the premises of their police station.

The Court further directed the IO to produce the accused for medical check up every 48 hrs or as and when required.

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