By: John Kuki
In a shocking revelation and sordid affair, the land belonging to Public Works Department, Manipur, and previously PWD Moreh complex is now in the hands of a militant and cult leader, Mr PS Haokip, self-styled president of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO).
Originally a Myanmar-based Kuki insurgent group with an objective to set up Kuki state (Zalengam) in Myanmar’s Sagaing division or an independent Kuki nation with an amalgamation of Kuki ancestral land in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, KNA/KNO had abandoned their original movement and shifted to India’s Manipur as they became increasingly actively involved in Manipur MLA elections. They also realised the futility of pursuing a movement in the name of Kuki as the term ‘Kuki’ is not recognised as a native people in Myanmar, but listed under ‘Other’ code just like the Rohingyas. Although the KNO under PS Haokip was the first Kuki underground group to have signed an agreement (under SoO) with Central and State governments in 2008 not to disturb the territorial integrity of Manipur, that compelled other groups to follow suit, it still claims its political demand is a separate Kuki state, which is to be carved out of Manipur.
What is even more shocking is that PS Haokip had reportedly sold two plots of the said PWD land to a former MLA and minister for Rs.40 lakhs about two years back. The PWD office land was divided into six plots and a portion of the remaining land is occupied by a student organisation. In the absence of a PWD office at Moreh, public are suffering as they have to go to Chandel district headquarter. It has also been reported that the land belonging to Transport Department at Moreh is now used as a private Tata Sumo parking.
Mention may be made that a large number of government quarters at Churachandpur district headquarters at Tuibong, adjacent to the mini secretariat complex, have been occupied by unauthorised persons and that some individuals even claim ownership of the land and the buildings. One Onkholun Haokip allegedly claims that a large proportion of the government quarters belong to him and he has been selling them for lakhs of rupees per unit along with the land.
One Thongsei Haokip, son-in-law of Onkholun and self-styled chief commander of an armed wing of the KNO, a signatory group to the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Government of Manipur and Government of India, is allegedly involved in this land scam. It is an open secret that Thongsei occupies a significant area of government land at Tuibong Market area, including his 4-storeyed residential building and the Tuibong Market complex. While the government has not taken care of the government quarters, some KNO leaders or their agents have been collecting monthly house rents from the occupants.
It is unknown what the government has done about this, but the new Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur, Shyam Lal Poonia, has issued an order for verification of occupants of the said quarters. Mr Poonia has also recently issued an eviction order against unauthorised occupants of government land at Tuibong and some other places in Churachandpur town.
Some KNO leaders have been involved in land scams and illicit drug and arms smuggling in collusion with some unscrupulous government officials of the departments concerned. A lot of government lands and properties in the state have been privately owned, but the question is whether proper channels and processes have been followed in such cases of land and property transfer or acquisition. And what has the government done about it?
PWD minister Biswajit Singh on September 1 instructed officials of the Department to submit land details of all institutional buildings of the Department within seven days. It is unknown whether necessary action has been taken in regards to the Moreh PWD complex and government lands and properties at Tuibong in Churachandpur district.
Who is PS Haokip and why are his activities seriously dangerous? A former bank clerk and a Nagaland native, born and bred, who fled to Manipur following the loss of his job in the early 1990s, PS Haokip is the supreme leader of the KNO and his expensive and sleazy international cult movement (the unpopular but controversial Manasseh/Manmasi movement). He became KNO president in a bloody coup, in which late Khaimang @ Vipin Haokip, a close relative of him and then commander of KNA, and him successfully plotted the assassination of then president Sokholun Haokip @ Hanglen and many other Kachin-trained KNA/KNO senior and top functionaries to keep the organization under the clutch of his family and to ensure victory of certain MLA and MP candidates of their choice.
His Myanmar’s Khampat banyan tree-based dubious or false prophecies, belief, vision and practice, and his ideologies, doctrines and actions guided or influenced by Churachandpur residents dodgy self-proclaimed prophets like Ms Parchi and Ms Mawi and now Mr Chomlhun, a Myanmarese national, are real danger for everyone, including his own blind followers among Kuki people. His notorious and perpetual involvement in MP, MLA and even MDC and village elections, land and property scams and extortion of money and jumping from one movement and ideology to another as he sees fit to serve his own personal interests and confused mind has confused and sickened his own people. He has amassed a plethora of wealth to meet his expensive pompous lifestyles and frequent leisure foreign trips. People are fed up with all these but would not speak out for fear of retribution.
Also known as a mafia ringleader, a murderer and a hate preacher for vigorously campaigning for and sowing the seeds of hate and enmity between different clans and tribes among the Kuki people, double-minded and money-minded PS Haokip is largely seen as a curse and a betrayer who has shattered Kuki national movement and dreams of the Kuki people to the point of no return.
While the borders of Manipur are heavily guarded in the wake of Rohingya refugees fleeing trouble-torn Myanmar’s Rakhine state, and the state witnessing a continuing intense movement for an Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to check the unregulated influx of outsiders into the state, a large chunk of government development funds in KNA-dominated Kuki-inhabited areas have been siphoned off for the ambitious and seedy Manasseh movement activities.
The Manasseh movement has faced trouble and people’s wrath in relation to monetary demands made to churches to fund its extension abroad. An aim of this unscrupulous movement as claimed by its proponents is to bring together non-native Manasseh people from different parts of South and South-East Asian countries and establish the lost but once glorious Manasseh kingdom in the present day Manipur.
Congregations of so-called Manasseh-Kuki people from over 70 different groups of people settled in various Asian countries during PS Haokip-initiated Kut celebrations at Tuibong and Moreh is a classic example of how his activities and agendas can be exploited by non-native people from outside to sneak into and settle in Manipur, where its indigenous people are already at high risk of being soon outnumbered and overpowered by non-indigenous outsider populations.
But this kind of scandalous activity would not be possible without the blessings of people in positions of authority. Exceptionally manipulative PS Haokip is infamously known for his powerful connections with influential government officials, corrupt religious figures, top ranking police officers, mafias, politicians and legislators such as the sitting MLAs from Tengnoupal, Saikot and Saitu Assembly constituencies, Chandel ADC Chairman, and the armed church leader and KCC supremo, amongst others.
Whatever his nativity, connections, influences, or movements, one question the Central and State governments have to answer and act on is why PS Haokip, who operates from his Churachandpur’s B Vengnom lavish home near the sitting Saikot MLA and MPCC president’s residence, and his associates are allowed to perpetuate his criminal, anti-social, anti-people and anti-Manipur activities, that too with government money.
If the government has enough courage to assert and establish rule of law and its authority over some criminals or anti-social elements, then it will arrest and bring PS Haokip and his accomplices to justice in the land scams. The new government of Manipur surely has the guts to effectively act and right the wrong in the best interest of the people and the state.