Five top Manipur separatists arrested in Guwahati


Guwahati : Five top separatist leaders of the northeastern state of Manipur were arrested in Assam in a major anti-insurgency drive, officials said Wednesday.

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An Assam police spokesman said four of the arrested were from the outlawed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and their armed wing, the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), and another was the general secretary of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF). All the arrests were made here late Tuesday.

“The four PLA and RPF rebels were arrested from a city hotel during a raid by the city police, while the 49-year-old UNLF leader Narengbam Marjit was captured in a joint operation by Assam and Manipur police,” Rajen Singh, additional police chief of Guwahati city, told IANS.

The UNLF leader was arrested from a house in the city that he had rented since October 2006. “The two raids and the subsequent arrests were a major success,” the official said.

Police recovered Rs.4.7 million in cash, a laptop, a digital camera and other documents from the arrested UNLF leader.

At least half-a-dozen more rebels from Manipur have been arrested in separate raids in the city during the past one year.

“Guwahati is now the transit point for many northeastern rebel groups, including Manipur. Most of these militants come and stay in the city to escape security operations in their respective states and also come here for medical treatment,” another senior police official said.

Both the UNLF and the PLA are frontline rebel armies active in Manipur and seeking independent homelands for the majority Metei community in that state.