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Man Carrying 10 High-End Drone Batteries For Manipur Terror Group Arrested

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A man who tried to sneak into Manipur carrying 10 high-end drone batteries for a terror group has been arrested by the Assam Special Task Force (STF), the police said in a statement today.

The police called the arrest a “major breakthrough”, pointing at the use of beyond line-of-sight, military-grade drones by armed groups in Manipur amid the Meitei-Kuki ethnic conflict.

STF operatives intercepted Khaigoulen Kipgen, 27, at a toll gate in Sonapur on National Highway 27, some 20 km from Guwahati, the police said. Mr Kipgen is a resident of Gamngai village in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district, the police said.

Two minors were in the vehicle with Mr Kipgen, the police said.

“… The intelligence suggested that a Manipur-based banned organisation was attempting to procure equipment potentially for sabotage activities,” the police said in the statement.

The police said the material seized by them, particularly the drone batteries, prove that terror groups in Manipur are trying to buy drones for “illicit activities”. The STF said further investigation is going on.

Many of the drones used by armed groups in Manipur use the ‘TB30 Intelligent Flight’ batteries, which the STF seized from the Kangpokpi resident.

The STF said the operation began after they received information about illegal transport of drones and related equipment to Manipur via Guwahati in Assam.

STF sources told NDTV the timing of the arrest is significant amid fresh violence in Manipur’s Jiribam on the border with Assam.

The ethnic violence in Manipur that began in May 2023 between the valley-dominant Meitei community and the hill-dominant Kuki tribes has reached Jiribam. Manipur’s Kangpokpi and Churachandpur are two other districts dominated by the Kuki tribes.

The violence has killed over 220 and internally displaced nearly 50,000.

 A man who tried to sneak into Manipur carrying 10 high-end drone batteries for a terror group has been arrested by the Assam Special Task Force (STF), the police said in a statement today.    

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