The chief of the Manipur-based militant group United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Rajkumar Meghen alias Sanayaima, was released from the Guwahati Central Jail on Saturday, a day ahead of his scheduled release. The move comes just as the centre is tying up a peace deal with rebel groups in neighbouring Nagaland after two decades of talks.
Meghen is expected to arrive in Imphal by Monday where he will get a grand reception at the Tiddim Ground, sources said.
The rebel leader was first reportedly kidnapped by Bangladeshi agents on September 29, 2010. He was then arrested by the Assam police and charged by the National Investigating Agency or NIA. Meghen, who was tried in the case along with 18 others, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
His sentence was reduced because of his contributions like setting up a library, a music school for the inmates and construction of a rock garden inside the Guwahati Central Jail premises, reports said.
Meghen's release comes amid the centre's efforts to close the Naga peace talks. Manipur has been anxious over the development since there is a fear that the it would could end up re-drawing the borders. Sources said that New Delhi may try to rope in Meghen for a dialogue.