UNLF leader reaches Manipur after 44 years of exile

UNLF leader reaches Manipur after 44 years of exile

Rajkumar Meghen outside Imphal airport on Thursday. (DH photo)

Rajkumar Meghen, chairman of United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a Manipur-based banned militant group reached Manipur on Thursday after 44 years including 10 years in jail.

Meghen alias Sanayaima, 75 was released from Guwahati central jail on November 10 after 10 years of imprisonment but was reportedly whisked away by intelligence agencies to New Delhi. "Some of them asked me not to return to Manipur at a time when a lot of protests is going on. But I am overwhelmed to be here today," Meghen said soon after landing in Imphal airport around 1.30 pm. Manipur is witnessing agitation against possible impact of Naga agreement. 

When asked about offers of negotiations by the government, Meghen said, "Some people came to me and talked about negotiation. But i told them i can't decide that inside the jail. But my stand is clear---I will go by the aspirations of the people of Manipur."

Meghen had spent years in camps in Myanmar and Bangladesh before he was held in 2010. The government said he was arrested close to Nepal border in Bihar in 2010 and the case was subsequently handed over to the NIA. UNLF seeks independence for Manipur.

Meghen alias Sanayaima belonging to majority Meitei community and 18 others belonging to UNLF were convicted by an NIA special court in Guwahati on June 8, 2016. They were charged with criminal conspiracy, terrorist act and waging war against the nation.