Nov 13 (The Street Press India) – On Monday, the government extended the ban on nine Meitei extremist groups and their affiliated organizations for five more years. These groups, mostly active in Manipur, were banned due to their involvement in anti-national activities and deadly attacks on security forces.
As per a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Meitei extremist organizations have openly stated their goal to establish an independent nation by separating Manipur from India through armed struggle. They aim to encourage the indigenous people of Manipur to support this secession.
The ministry has imposed a five-year ban on several groups, including the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its political wing Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF), the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) with its armed wing Manipur Peoples’ Army (MPA). Additionally, the ban extends to the Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), the Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup (KYKL), the Coordination Committee (CorCom), and the Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak (ASUK).
The Meitei extremist groups were previously banned by the MHA in November 2018 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The MHA expressed the view that these organizations have been involved in activities harmful to the sovereignty and integrity of India. They are accused of using armed methods to pursue their secessionist goals, attacking and causing fatalities among security forces, police, and civilians in Manipur. Additionally, they have been implicated in acts of intimidation, extortion, and looting of civilian populations to fund their organizations.
The MHA highlighted that these Meitei extremist groups are establishing contacts with sources abroad to shape public opinion and seek assistance in terms of arms and training to fulfill their secessionist goals. The groups are reportedly maintaining camps in neighboring countries for sanctuaries, training, and covert procurement of arms and ammunition. The MHA warned that without immediate intervention and control, these organizations could exploit the situation to mobilize their members, escalating their secessionist, subversive, terrorist, and violent activities.
The groups are expected to promote anti-national activities in collaboration with entities hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India. The ministry warned of potential civilian killings, targeted attacks on police and security personnel, illegal procurement of arms and ammunition from across international borders, and extensive extortion of funds from the public for their illicit activities. The Ministry emphasized that the actions of these Meitei extremist organizations are deemed harmful to the sovereignty and integrity of India, categorizing them as unlawful associations.
The central government, considering the prevailing circumstances, deems it necessary to declare the Meitei extremist organizations as ‘unlawful associations’ for a period of five years. Manipur has witnessed episodes of violence, with over 180 casualties since ethnic clashes began in May of this year. These clashes stem from various grievances between the ethnic Meitei and Kuki communities. A significant source of tension has been the attempt to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the Meiteis, a move that has since been reversed.
Meiteis make up approximately 53% of Manipur’s population, primarily residing in the Imphal Valley. The tribal communities, including Nagas and Kukis, account for 40% of the population and are predominantly located in the hill districts.