Centre and Manipur ink deal with banned Meitei insurgent body

Centre and Manipur ink deal with banned Meitei insurgent body


Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday that the Centre and the Manipur government have inked a peace pact with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a proscribed Meitei extremist organization and the oldest armed group rooted in the Manipur valley.

What is the background of the Manipur Crisis?

  • Communities in Manipur have seen horrendous violence since May 3, including reported rapes, burnings, and decapitations. This violence appears to be prompted by the state government’s efforts to provide Meiteis access to privileges and positions that were previously only available to Kukis.
  • The violence that broke out in Manipur and caused multiple deaths and displaced people calls for worldwide attention and concern.
  • The continuous mistrust and animosity between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities have made it possible for outsiders to investigate the issue.

What is the recent development in the path of peace in Manipur?

  • The United National Liberation Front (UNLF), an outlawed Meitei extremist organization, has successfully negotiated and signed a peace agreement with the Centre and the Manipur government.
  • This is a huge step forward in tackling long-standing insurgency challenges in the Manipur valley.

What do we know about the United National Liberation Front (UNLF)?

  • Leadership and Formation:
      • On November 24, 1964, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was founded in Manipur, Northeast India.
  • Ideology and Goal:
      • UNLF advocates for the restoration of Manipur’s lost sovereignty to construct a sovereign and socialist Manipur.
      • The movement arose in response to similar regional political goals.
  • Legal Status and Activities:
    • The UNLF, which has been deemed an illegal group by the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been involved in operations intended at restoring Manipur’s sovereignty.
    • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) charged UNLF chairperson R. K. Meghan alias Sanayaima with “waging war” against India.
    • The UNLF, along with seven other Meitei extremist organizations, has been declared an unlawful association by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.

What are the implications of the Surrender of UNLF?

  • Stability in the Region: The surrender of the UNLF could help to greater regional stability, notably in Manipur, by decreasing the operations of an insurgent group pursuing sovereignty through armed combat.
  • Government Credibility: The successful talks and surrender strengthen the government’s efforts to address insurgency issues peacefully. It indicates the government’s capacity to integrate militant organizations into society.
  • Reduction in Violence:  The surrender signifies a promise by the UNLF side to abandon violence, which could lead to a major reduction in armed conflict and related violence in the region.
  • Impact on Other Insurgent Organizations: Observing the success and possible benefits of negotiation and reintegration into mainstream society, other insurgent organizations in the region may be influenced to consider peaceful resolutions.
  • Addressing Grievances: The peace agreement may reflect the government’s desire to address the underlying grievances that led to the insurgency, contributing to a more complete resolution of issues concerning Manipur’s autonomy and sovereignty.