43 ultras surrender in Manipur
IMPHAL, Oct 27 – Altogether 43 cadres of United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) on Thursday joined the Suspension of Operation (SoO) in the presence of Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh in a programme christened ‘Home Coming ceremony’ at 1st Manipur Rifles Banquet hall here, the largest single insurgent group to ‘come home’ in the State.
UTLA has decided to ‘come home’ by abjuring the path of violence under the guidance and direction of GoC Red Shield Division, Major Geneneral Binoy Poonen, VSM.
The ‘home coming’ of the outfit was facilitated by Commander of 27 Sector Assam Rirfles Brigadier VS Ranade and Commandant 46 Assam Rifles Colonel Vikas Chawla.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, State Director General of Police Y Joykumar and Major General Binoy Poonem, VSM, GOC 57 Mountain Division.
UTLA was raised by one James in 2003. However, after the death of James, the group split into two factions called UTLA and UTLA (Max). UTLA (Max) over the period of time got neutralized and as on date majority of them are in jail.
Due to leadership crisis and differences, the president of UTLA was motivated to join the mainstream. The two leaders announced formally to engage in the Suspension of Opearation (SoO) on September 8 this year. This was also reported in all leading newspapers of Manipur.
Speaking during the occasion, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh once again appealed to all the underground groups in the State to shun violence and join the path of peace. “UTLA has joined the path of peace under SoO and they should strictly follow the ground rule, the Chief Minister,” said Ibobi, speaking on the occasion.
He said some signatories of SoO are not abiding the ground rules and there are reports that they are indulging in extortions. He also warned them not to repeat such activities in the future.
Source: Assam Tribune