Imphal: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Monday welcomed home a high ranking People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cadre, S S Lt Colonel Irom Ibotombi Meitei alias Ibotomba alias Keirungba alias Chingkhei in front of media at the chief minister’s Secretariat in Imphal. The outfit cadre is said to be deputy assistant secretary, health and family welfare of the Manipur based outfit.
An official report said that Irom Ibomtombi, aged 56 years, is son of Irom Buno Meitei, bearing MC No. 131, 1994-95 batch of PLA held from Thangtek, Nambol Police Station, Bishnupur district.
Addressing the media, the Chief Ministers stated that Irom Ibotombi came to the mainstream, leaving the PLA outfit, trusting the changes brought in the State by Central and State Governments and firm commitment of central leaders towards development of Manipur and Northeast India. Saying that the “homecoming of such a senior member of PLA shows a new beginning of restoring peace in the State”, Biren assured that the State Government would uphold the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah not to use single bullet or lodge FIR against underground cadres who are ready to lay down arms and join the mainstream. He added that the State Government would make all arrangements to ensure security and rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres.
N. Biren maintained that the government is making arrangements for rehabilitation of surrendered cadres, who were once members of underground groups, under schemes and programmes provided for them. Various training for rehabilitation is also given to them at the rehabilitation camps. He appealed to people who had joined any underground groups for some reasons to have faith in the welfare and development programmes of the Government, to come home and join the mainstream.
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Meanwhile the proscribed militant group, Revolutionary People’s front (RPF), the political wing of the PLA has dubbed S S Lt Colonel Irom Ibotombi Meitei as an absconder who misappropriated huge amount of the outfit’s fund to the tune of Rs 13,41,500 which was supposed to be distributed to the party cadres, in a press release.
According to a release issued Monday, made available by Chongthu News Service, a clarification statement issued by one Bangkim, assistant secretary, Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) stated that the 56-year-old surrendered cadre was “initially assigned for distribution of money to the party cadres. However, on suspicion of his insincerity, the misappropriation of the party fund was found out during an investigation carried out by the finance department of the RPF.”
The release of RPF further clarified that the surrender of such insincere cadre to the government will not make the party demoralized. It maintained that “RPF/PLA stick to its stance that it will not engage in talks with the government without the issue of Sovereignty.”