One Satkhothang Kipgen alias Sathang, 49, son of Kamlun Haokip of Bijang Village, New Keithelmanbi in Kangpokpi district, who has been reportedly hailed as a “fallen hero in defence of our ancestral land and freedom” by KSO Media Cell returned alive on Tuesday, only to reveal that he had lost his way after drinking too much and was simply resting in a hut.
Satkhothang Kipgen who went missing since September 30 was found by a team of New Keithelmanbi Police Station along the National Highway near Longjang Village on Tuesday.
CoTU Media Cell Coordinator Ng Lun Kipgen on Monday claimed that on September 30 one Sathang Kipgen (52), son of Kamlun Kipgen of Bijang village in New Keithelmanbi area in Kangpokpi district was abducted by armed Meitei miscreants.
CoTU had called a shutdown on NH 37 is in connection with an alleged ‘abduction of a Kuki by armed Meitei miscreants’ from New Keithelmanbi area on September 30 and it will continue till the individual is released.
However, he was found by the police on Tuesday.
According to police, Satkhothang could not recall how or where he got lost. When he came to his senses on Monday, he found himself on a hillslope of Haibung village far from his settlement area, he narrated.
He said that he later went inside a farm hut and decided to take a good rest. It was after he came down from the hill, the police found him near Longjang village.
According to his self-testimony, he was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of boarding a vehicle from Bijang Village on September 30.
Satkhothang Kipgen became a ‘fallen hero’ overnight in a poster reportedly made by KSO Media Cell, apparently under the impression that he got killed during the prevailing conflict and it was circulated on social media. The poster with his photo also has a drawing of a man giving a salute.
This episode has undoubtedly raised serious doubts about the previously made claims about the people of the Kuki-Zo community being killed during the prevailing conflict, and the manner of how they were highly publicised before the national media.