On October 23, alleged child activist Licypriya Kangujam’s smartphone was snatched in Greater Noida when she was Live on Facebook to give unsolicited advice about the Hindu festival Diwali. In her video she linked Diwali to air and noise pollution.
Video source: Licypriya’s Facebook profile. pic.twitter.com/6HY0CpRhwZ
— Anurag (@LekkakAnurag) October 24, 2022
In a video posted to her Twitter account that appears to have been cut from Facebook’s live video, she claimed her heart aches when she sees people bursting. She further urged people not to crack crackers, as it harms the environment. “It is not good for humans and animals. If you think of your future generation and animals, I am not asking you to think of me, you will not crack crackers.”
My message to the country 🇮🇳 on Happy Diwali 2022.
Let’s make it Green Diwali! 🙏️ pic.twitter.com/tgs4g7nRM6
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) October 23, 2022
Notably, Licypriya was in the United States in September to attend an event. On September 22, she published a photo critique of the high taxi price in New York.
Taxi driver in New York easily asked me to pay 80$ for 5 km driving, but it’s like earning a week for my family! pic.twitter.com/bUNtVHSxEY
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) September 22, 2022
She sought help from the Noida police on Twitter.
It is very urgent. My cell phone was just snatched (10 minutes ago) by two bicycle thieves while going live on my Facebook for Bellana Street market, Greater Noida, Sector 16B opposite Nirala Aspire. Please help me!
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) October 23, 2022
Licypriya ‘disappeared’ from social media for almost a year when her father was jailed for fraud
Earlier this year, Licypriya’s social media accounts became active again after her father, an alleged con man accused of defrauding dozens of students, was released on bail. Her father, KK Singh, was arrested in May 2021 in a joint operation by Delhi Police and Manipur Police. He was accused of defrauding several people, with amounts up to Rs 19 lakh. In 2015, he was arrested in Manipur on charges of Criminal Case No. 176 of 2015 under Section 420 (Fraud), 324 (Adultery) and 406 (Criminal breach of trust).
According to reports, a place he rented in Porompat and conducted his clandestine activities under the banner of Club 25 was allegedly sold to three different individuals without the real owner’s knowledge. Kanarjit was later released on provisional bail and has been in hiding ever since.
Notably, he also invented the fake performance of daughter Licypriya Kangujam to bring her international fame. The children’s activist built a career over time protesting anything and everything under the sun. Licypriya enjoys a verified account on Twitter, although the profile says she doesn’t handle it herself. Her verification was revoked due to inactivity during the time she was off social media, but was reinstated at her request.
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) Apr 9, 2022
Of the several fake feats her father invented for her, one of the most notable was where she claimed to be on her way to UN headquarters in Geneva to confer a “UN Global Session” for “Disaster Risk Reduction.” to speak. The news was widely reported and she received a lot of appreciation on social media.
However, it turned out to be fake. After Imphal Free Press found out that not only was she not invited to the UN, but her father was also an alleged scammer. An investigation by Imphal Free Press revealed that her entire ‘UN invitation’ was a… sham and a cunning story by her father, Kangujam Kanarjit. IFP became suspicious of the news report because when they investigated the claims, the UN event revealed that the registration for delegates was still ongoing and the names of the speakers had not yet been confirmed.
In June 2021, it was reported that her father had been duped almost 100 children from 12 countries under the guise of activism, according to a Vice report. The fraud amount is estimated to be about $44,685 just from the fees collected from students.
Paojel Chaoba, an investigative journalist from Manipuri, revealed in an interview with Vice how Kanarjit Kangujam’s “too good to be true” claims led to journalists flocking to his events.
In 2015, a Manipuri news channel quoted Kangujam as saying that politician and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Myanmar’s now ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi would attend a youth conference hosted by the International Youth Committee, a shady organization run by Kangujam, where he portrayed his daughter as ‘Indian Greta Thurnberg’.
“Myanmar’s supreme leader who visited our small state sounded too wild to be true,” Chaoba noted in the Vice report.
Adding to this were other claims, including an alleged nomination for Licipriya for the “Global Youth Icon Award 2015” along with Malala Yousafzai (2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Felix Finkbeiner (German children’s activists).
Modus Operandi by Kanarjit Kangujam
A source on condition of anonymity informed OpIndia that Kangujam would create hoax events with well-drafted documents alleging that the UN, UNESCO and the Government of India are organizing an exchange program.
He would then summon participants, misusing the logos of the global entities. The proceeds of the participation fee would go to his personal account, the source reports.
Kangujam claimed to host events in Japan, Europe and Mauritius for which he incurred hefty participation fees, but the events never took place. When the volunteers called the respective organizations and ministries to confirm the event, each of them refused to know about Kangujam or the so-called events planned by him.
When the participants asked for a refund, he refused and threatened to get them out of the program, making them ineligible for refunds, and passed each complaint on to the volunteers to deal with.
Licypriya’s father cheated on children in the name of ‘exchange programs’
According to a document shared by the source, Kangujam has prepared budget documents to justify the participation fee. With this he has duped several Pakistani participants for $160 each, Bhutanese participants from $300-420 each and Mauritian participants for €1200 each. According to the source, the entry fee varied by nationality and sometimes individually.
According to the Vice report, a legal complaint by Prajesh Khanal, a youth activist from Nepal, led to Kangujam’s arrest. “I only interacted with him via messenger and email, and to be honest, he looked very legit,” the 20-year-old confessed to Vice World News. Khanal was found to have paid more than $460 for an exchange program, which has yet to be repaid.
Kangujam’s arrest led more participants to reveal how they were cheated by the “activist”. Pallabi Roy, a dentist from Delhi, said she and her boyfriend paid $410 each in 2017 for an IYC event.
Licypriya Kangujam’s Ketto Campaign
In addition, Licypriya Kangujam’s Ketto campaign smacks of potential FCRA violation. We previously reported how multiple discrepancies were found in a Licypriya fundraising campaign and a questionable partnership with Noble Citizen Foundation.