Updated 15 Jun 2022, 4:13 am
One of the senior most leaders of the proscribed Revolutionary People’s Front (PLA), Irom Ibotombi Meitei, surrendered and joined the mainstream on Monday, an event Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh called a “homecoming”.
The development comes in less than two weeks after 14 cadres belonging to the United Tribal Liberation Army-James (UTLA-J), including its chairman, laid down arms before Manipur Rifles at a Homecoming Ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles.
CM Biren, accompanied by state chief secretary Rajesh Kumar and Manipur DGP P Doungel, welcomed Irom Ibotombi Meitei, who went by the aliases of Ibotomba, Keirungba and Chingkhei, on his homecoming to the mainstream, in front of media personnel at the Chief Minister’s secretariat.
Fifty-six-year-old Ibotombi, who was the RPF (PLA)’s deputy assistant secretary of health and family welfare before surrendering today, is a resident of Nambol Thangtek in Bishnupur district. He was associated with the outfit from 1994-1995.
Addressing the media, chief minister said that Irom Ibotombi had come to the mainstream, leaving the PLA outfit, trusting the changes brought in the state by the Central and state governments and firm commitment of central leaders towards development of Manipur and Northeast India.
Continuing that the homecoming of such a senior member of PLA shows a new beginning of restoring peace in the state, he assured that the state government would uphold the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah not to use single bullet or lodge FIR against any UG cadre who are ready to lay down arms and join the mainstream.
“The state government would make all arrangements to ensure security and rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres,” said CM Biren.
Biren also said the government had been making arrangements for rehabilitation of surrendered cadres, who were once members of UG groups, under schemes and programmes provided for them. Various training is also given to them at the rehabilitation camps, the CM said and appealed to people, who had joined any UG groups for some reasons, to have faith in the welfare and development programmes of the Government and to come home and join the mainstream.
Regarding eviction of illegal encroachment and constructions at Waithou Chingol, the chief minister stated that the state government had taken up the eviction process in the larger interest of the people of Manipur and to conserve nature and mitigate climate change which we are experiencing today.
He mentioned that eviction had been taken up following procedures as per the law of the land. The state government doesn’t do anything which is beyond the ambit of the Constitution of India, he added.
“As a human being, I also feel bad about pulling down certain houses and structures”, said the CM and assured to provide arrangements for rehabilitation if any affected party has no other land of their own to stay.
He further appealed to all encroachers and illegal occupants at Reserve Forest areas to voluntarily dismantle their structures as the government would be continuing with its eviction work.
Meanwhile, the proscribed Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF) on Monday issued a clarification, stating that the surrender of lieutenant colonel Irom Ibotombi is an act of spreading propaganda.
Irom Ibotombi was employed to work for the distribution of funds within the members of the organisation, RPF stated in a release issued by its assistant secretary, publicity Bangkim.
Sometime earlier, on finding that there had been irregularities on the commencement of assigned works, an investigation was launched and it was revealed that Irom Ibotombi had misappropriated a sum of Rs 13,41,500 sanctioned by the Finance department, RPF stated. While pursuing further investigation, Ibotombi absconded from the organisation, it added.
RPF suffers no loss at Ibotombi deserting the organisation as he is hollow inside, could not carry out any assigned tasks and bears no integrity in character, it stated. When such a reprobate surrenders himself before the enemy, RPF shall not be discouraged in its ongoing war for self-determination, it added.
RPF reaffirms its unchanging determination not to hold any talks with the Government of India except for the sole matter of Manipur's independence, it mentioned.
The Manipur government spreading the propaganda of achieving success at the surrender of a degenerate, who could no longer fit in the organisation, under the mercy of Delhi overlords, is rather an act of cheap propaganda, it added.
Also Read: Government never forcibly evicted anyone: CM Biren
First published:13 Jun 2022, 6:24 pm
surrenderpla leaderIrom Ibotombi