The militant leader has been identified as Nehjang Haokip, who was the commander-in-chief of KNA(I).

A 47-year old leader of a Manipur-based militant group Kuki National Army (India) or KNA (I) was arrested by Assam Rifles in Aizawl on Thursday, an Assam Rifles official said.

The militant leader has been identified as Nehjang Haokip, who was the commander-in-chief of KNA(I), the official said.

Acting on intelligence inputs, troopers of 46 Assam Rifles carried out an operation at Aizawl’s Zemabawk Thuampui area on Thursday and apprehended Haokip, a resident of Churachandpur in Manipur, from a private house, he said.

No weapon was recovered from the militant leader, he said.

Haokip was handed over to Mizoram police the same day, he added.

Kuki National Army (I) is the armed wing of Kuki National Organisation (KNO), one of the two umbrella Kuki militant groups, currently engaged in tripartite political dialogue with the Centre and Manipur government.

There are about 17 insurgent groups under KNO and at least 8 Zo ethnic insurgent groups under United Peoples’ Front (UPF), another umbrella group.

Both the umbrella groups signed Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Centre and Manipur government in 2008.

Though the two groups had initially demanded statehood for the Kuki people, their main demand now centers around the creation of a “territorial council” for the Kuki people under the framework of the Indian constitution.

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