This Article is From Dec 01, 2010

Manipur's top rebel leader Meghen arrested

Motihari (Bihar): It is being described as a big breakthrough for security forces. Sixty-five-year Rajkumar Meghen, head of India's oldest and the richest militia Manipur's United National Liberation Front (UNLF), has been arrested after decades.

He had evaded arrest for 35 years in a great setback to our armed forces.

But Meghen posed a much larger threat. In his acceptability among the 25 biggest militant organisations in the Northeast, he was working on a unification plan that India feared could be used by China to destabilise the region even further.

"The talk of unification amongst various groups, he has been the protagonist that all groups should come together. He has been articulating on certain kind of international aspects of the movement," said Amar Yumnam, Director, Centre of Manipur Studies.

Inside the state too UNLF under Meghen had become a huge challenge to governance.

Since 2008, the outfit scaled down bloodshed to win the support of the people. UNLF also started Phunga Marup - a micro finance scheme for small and rural entrepreneurs especially women, innovatively fusing terrorism into the mainstream.

There is now enough evidence and arrests for a watertight case against UNLF, the strongest and biggest militant outfit of the region. But will the government be able to convince them to come for negotiations?