Imphal: In an encouraging development, one of the top leaders of the Manipur-based underground Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF-PLA) surrendered before Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday.

The development comes a week after 14 members belonging to United Tribal Liberation Army-James (UTLA-J), including its chairman, laid down arms and joined the mainstream during a homecoming ceremony held at 1st Manipur Rifles Banquet hall in Imphal.

Taking to his Twitter handle, CM Biren Singh said: “In yet another encouraging development, Lt Colonel of underground outfit RPF (PLA), Irom Ibotombi Meitei have surrendered today.”

“The recent homecoming of numerous cadres of underground outfits shows the trust in the leadership of Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji,” Singh added.

56-year-old Ibotombi, who is a resident of Nambol Thangtek, joined the outfit in 1994-1995.

Before joining the mainstream, Ibotombi, alias Ibotomba, Keirungba and Chingkei, was the RPF (PLA) outfit’s deputy assistant secretary of health and family welfare, the chief minister said.

Singh further said that the homecoming of the outlawed active senior RPF (PLA) member marks a new beginning towards restoring peace in the state. 

“The government will uphold the commitment of Union home minister Amit Shah during his visit in the state to ‘not use a single bullet of lodge FIRs’ against any underground cadre who is ready to lay down arms and join the mainstream,” said Singh.

CM Biren Singh also assured that the state government will make all arrangements to ensure security and rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres.

As assurance given by PM Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, such more homecoming ceremonies will also take place in the coming days, he added.

The ceremony was attended by chief secretary Rajesh Kumar, Manipur DGP P Doungel and other state top officials at CM’s secretariat.

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