Explainer: Are dormant rebel groups a new threat in Manipur?

In an escalation of hostilities in ethnic strife-hit Manipur, suspected militants killed three tribal men in Kangpokpi district.
This is the second incident in four days after three persons were killed and over 50 injured in daylong violence at Pallel in Tengnoupal district on September 8.
The four-month violence has claimed over 180 lives in the northeastern state.
The incident took place between Ireng and Karam Vaiphei villages in the tribal-dominated Kanggui area, located at the bordering districts of West Imphal and Kangpopki.
A vehicle carrying the three persons were heading towards Lemakong from Ponlen in Kangpokpi district when the armed assailants, suspected to be from an outlawed militant group, ambushed them at Ireng near Singda dam.
After hearing the gunshots, security forces and the Army units arrived from nearby locations and found the three bodies.
A central paramilitary post had observed movement of a group of around 30 people, dressed in police uniform, in the area, PTI reported.
In the past, cadres of the banned militant groups such as the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) have carried out out attacks on civilians, donning police uniforms.
Security officials recently issued a warning about the resurgence of such groups, which have been lying low for some time.
‘Reimpose AFSPA’
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a joint body of Kuki-Zo tribals, condemned the incident and urged the Centre to crack down on insurgent groups and reimpose Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the valley.
Recently, the counter-insurgency law was extended to the hill areas by another six months.
SC protects ex-Army officer
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday shielded retired Army colonel Vijaykant Chenji from arrest in connection with an FIR lodged at Imphal West police station for allegedly stoking ethnic violence through his book published in January last year on ‘Anglo-Kuki war 1917-19’, which the complainant claimed was a propagation of falsehood.
The SC also entertained another petition by one Henminlun, booked for allegedly giving inflammatory speech during the ethnic violence in Manipur, and protected him from arrest till further orders.

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