GUWAHATI: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Northeast’s one of the most violent groups, 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 the 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 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 who are still wielding the gun carry out the attacks periodically but not to 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 opportunistic attack where they are trying to send the message that they are still around,” Pradip Phanjoubam, editor, Imphal Review of Arts and Politics, said. He insisted that a serious effort is needed to solve the problem. “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,” Pradip Phanjoubam said.