GUWAHATI: The People's Liberation Army (PLA), one of the most violent groups in the Northeast, has rekindled the fire of insurgency in a more or less peaceful Manipur.
Saturday’s attack in Churachandpur, carried out by the militant organisation, has put not just Manipur but Northeast on the boil again.
A reprisal attack by the security forces on the violent insurgents is now a certainty because not only a senior Army officer was killed but also his wife, son and four other personnel.
The grouping to which the PLA belongs – CorCom (Coordination Committee – is itself a powerful body of seven militant outfits of Manipur's Imphal Valley that operates from the soil of Myanmar in coordination with other militant groups from the Northeast.
Manipur has over 40 insurgent groups but a large number of them have been lying low for a long time following their signing of separate suspension of operation agreements with the government.
Those which are still wielding the gun carry out the attacks periodically but not on Saturday's scale.
People following the insurgency movement of Northeast say the rebels carry out such attacks to make their presence felt.
"They were lying low. This is an opportunist kind of an attack where they are trying to announce they are still alive," Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor of Imphal Review of Arts and Politics, said.
Phanjoubam insisted that a serious effort should be made to solve the problem.
"If you make a right kind of an effort, there could be a solution to the problem. But the effort is not forthcoming," he said.
There was a time when insurgency-related violence was common in Northeast but now, most states are peaceful.
Mizoram no longer has this problem. The attacks by the militants have also ceased in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.
Five martyred soldiers and a wife and son
1. Colonel Viplav Tripathi, wife and son
2. Rifleman Suman Swargiary
3. Rifleman Khatnei Konyak
4. Rifleman RP Meena
5. Rifleman Shyamal Das
The militants used an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) to hit Colonel Viplav Tripathi's car, and followed it up with firing from close range. The militants were fully aware that the Colonel's family were travelling in the car.