Revolutionary People's Front (RPF)
People's Liberation Army (PLA)
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is a Meitei outfit in Manipur with a political wing, the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF). The PLA was established under the leadership of N. Bisheswar Singh in September 1978. Now led by I. Chaoren and running a government in exile in Bangladesh, the outfit aims at organizing a revolutionary front covering the entire Northeast and uniting all ethnic groups, including Meiteis, Nagas and Kukis, to liberate Manipur. The PLA is believed to have camps in Burma and Bangladesh. The outfit's estimated strength would be 3,000 as of 2005 and it has targeted security personnel and local political leaders. It maintains links with the UNLF, PREPAK, as well as the NSCN-K, ULFA, and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) of Burma. The RPF also functions as moral police - it banned the showing of Hindi films since these allegedly corrupted Manipuri culture. The outfit also punishes drug traders.
To restore the suspended freedom of Manipur and to resist the occupation force of India, People's Liberation Army (PLA), was founded on 25 September 1978, under the leadership of N. Bisheshwar. On 25 February 1979, PLA's political wing Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) was set up. Soon after its establishment insurgency emerged in a big way and the Manipur Government declared the entire Valley a disturbed area and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, was imposed on the Valley in September 1980. RPF suffered a major set back soon after its formation when its chief Bisheshwar was captured and seven other leaders were killed by the Indian Army in an operation in Tekcham, Thoubal district on July 6, 1981. On October 26, 1981, RPF along with People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) were declared unlawful organisations. On April 13, 1982, RPF's new leader, Thoudam Kunjabehari and eight other militants of the outfit were killed in an encounter in Kadampokpi area, near Imphal.
By the end of the eighties, RPF once again stepped up their activities. PLA militants killed Vandana Mallick, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in an ambush near Imphal on April 8, 1989. To strengthen the revolutionary struggle RPF along with PREPAK and KCP formed the Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC) in May 1991.
From 1990, RPF started imposing a ban on the sale of liquor in Manipur. PLA militants launched an armed campaign against social evils. It took to enforcing total prohibition and gunning down rapists, besides launching a vigorous drive against drug peddlers. As a step to prevent and safeguard the further worsening society, eroded abruptly by drugs and dreadful diseases like HIV and AIDS infection, RPF had formed a "Special Task Force" known as STAFORCE on July 7, 1996. PLA forced corrupt officials and contractors to confess their guilt through local newspapers. In August 1995, former RPF chief Bisheshwar was gunned downed by PLA militants for contesting in the State Assembly elections and accepting the Indian Constitution.
From 1991, RPF started observing October 15 (the day Manipur merged with the Union of India) as Black Day. The party has been observing 25 February as Independence Demand Day since 1995. The party is the fourth revolutionary group, which claimed to abide by the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.
RPF takes up arms and fights for all the dependent and colonised people of Manipur representing the Meitei and the Nagas, the Kuki-Chins, and smaller nationalities for granting and restoration of independence and de-colonisation of the State of Manipur from the present colonial and hegemonic Administering Power of Indian, which has been occupying Manipur since 15 October, 1949, till today. It also aims to organise a "revolutionary front" covering the entire Northeast. RPF though a Meitei outfit, claims itself to be a trans-tribal organisation seeking to lead the non-Meiteis as well.
RPF's armed wing - People's Liberation Army (PLA) was reorganised on the lines of a disciplined army. It has three bureaus - Central, Western and Eastern. All the decisions of the party are taken by the Central bureau. The RPF has divided the entire state of Manipur for administrative purposes into six divisions (presently only four divisions are operational as the party cannot operate in some hilly regions of the state). Each division is led by a commander. A division is further divided into tracts. Each track is headed by a corporal/ lance corporal and they are assisted by five lower rank members. PLA activists are equipped with modern sophisticated arms and considered as one of the most powerful militant groups in the state. The first Congress of RPF was held in May - July 1990. For the first time in the history of the RPF, Constitution of the RPF, Organisational Structure, Rank and Files, and, Rules and Regulation of the PLA were adopted in the Congress. The RPF also has a women's wing which works under Secretary Central Bureau. Presently, senior woman leader of RPF, Lily Leima is holding the post of Assistant Secretary of Communication and Publicity. Sources put the total strength of RPF at around 1,500 cadres. Recently on 2nd July 2004, the People's Liberation opened its 3rd battalion called battalion 253 at its General headquarters (GHQs) in Chandel district.
Now only the Central bureau is working.
It has three bureaus but only the Central bureau is working the rest - western and eastern bureaus remains unoperational.
There is no record of when the Muslim cell was established but it is generally believe that the cell was establish in the wake of the Meitei and Muslim clashes in 1993. According to reports that I have got the cell is now defunct.
People's Liberation Army (PLA)
The People Liberation Army (PLA) was formed by Mr Bisheswar in 1969, when he split from United National Liberation Front (UNLF). He formulated a two-fold objection, to liberate the Eastern Region of India comprising the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura and the Union Territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh through a carefully planned revolutionary uprising and to use this as a base for `liberating' the rest of India. He also emphasized the need for a "War of Independence" with Chinese support on the basis of the principles of Marxism- Leninism and Mao's thoughts. They also appealed to the Naga and Mizo 'revolutionaries' to jointly fight against the common enemy.
People's Liberation Army stands for an independent Manipur and cessation from India to be achieved by principles of Marxism- Leninism and Mao's thoughts. It also enjoins Naga revolutionaries to join in its fight for Independence.
The People's Liberation Army initially did not have a well-defined hierarchical org structure and functioned more or less on a cellular basis. The political wing of the People's Liberation Front was formed in 1979. Its Civil Wing consists of various sub wings which deal with Finance, Publicity, Education and mainly engaged in extortion, tax collection and some welfare programs for the society to build their image. Its armed wing (Revolutionary People's Front) consists of four battalions, Auxiliary department, Project department and Training department. Battalions are mainly functional in Myanmar and valley districts.
Some of the important leaders of the group are :-
Self Style President Irengbam Chaoren @ Borot.
Self Style General Secretary Ibipishak Singh.
Self Style Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant Colonel G Jame.
People's Liberation Army is having strong nexus with National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac Muivah) although it does not support Greater Nagaland which amounts to bifurcation of Manipur.