25 members of Meitei extremist group NRFM join UNLF

New Delhi: Around 25 members of Meitei extremist group National Revolutionary Front Manipur (NRFM) have joined the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), which signed a peace agreement with the Centre last week.

According to an official statement, the development is likely to give a momentum to the Centre’s efforts to restore peace and normalcy in ethnic strife-torn Manipur.

Following the signing of the peace agreement between the UNLF and the governments in Manipur and at the Centre on November 29, around 25 members of the NRFM, led by Major Boicha (vice-chief of the army staff of the outfit), with 25 weapons, joined the UNLF on December 2, the statement said.

With this, most of the outfit’s members have taken a step towards abjuring the path of violence.

The NRFM (previously the United Revolutionary Front) was formed on September 11, 2011 by the members of three factions of the KCP, an underground Meitei outfit.

Its senior leaders operated from bases in a neighbouring country and were involved in violence and extortion in various parts of the Imphal valley.

The development is likely to encourage other underground Meitei outfits to join the peace process and pursue their demands in a democratic manner, besides giving a boost to the Narendra Modi government’s vision of an “insurgency-free and prosperous northeast”, the statement said.

Under the peace pact, the UNLF, which is the oldest Meitei terror group based in the Imphal valley, has agreed to renounce violence.

A ban on the UNLF under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was extended by five years last month.