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Rebel threat to take up arms again

Imphal, Dec. 24: The People’s United Liberation Front (Umar Farrooque faction) today warned that its cadres would go back to the jungles if the Centre and state government fail to look into their grievances by December 31.

This militant group, which is currently involved in a peace process with the government, accused both the Centre and state of failing to honour their commitments.

“The government had promised us a onetime grant of Rs 3 lakh each for every cadre and Rs 5 lakh each for the politburo members. It is also not paying us a monthly stipend of Rs 4,000 each, as promised. And vocational training still remains a dream,” Farooque said.

On June 14, 2011 — 41 cadres of the group turned up at the “homecoming ceremony”, a sort of surrender programme. Soon, more cadres joined the peace process and more than 150 cadres of this group have come overground.

After the homecoming programme, held at the Assam Rifles headquarters at Mantri-pukhri on the outskirts of Imphal, the cadres were told to stay at their respective homes for the time being.

The government had “promised” them a designated camp for their safety. More than two years after the ceremony they are still at home.

The government is paying them some money from time to time in instalments. Farooque admitted that the cadres had received Rs 28,000 each till today. The cadres are demanding vocational training, payment of the onetime grant, monthly stipend and a designated camp for their stay.

“Because of the control of politburo members, our cadres have not committed any crimes till today. After December 31, we will not be able to control them and prevent them from going back to jungles,” Farooque said.

He reminded the government that if promises are not kept, other militant groups or cadres would not come back to the mainstream.

In another development, the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Progressive) denied that its cadres, Thoudam Khomba and Sanasam Rabi, were involved in killing a van driver in August this year and triggering a blast here in September, in which nine construction labourers were killed. The duo were recently arrested in Patna.