Army refutes UNLF statement

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IMPHAL Sept 9: PRO PIB (Defence Wing) has refuted the statement of UNLF regarding the recent surrender programme held at Leimakhong.

A release of PRO stated that the claim regarding the surrender of two UNLF cadres namely s/s 2Lt Oinam Chairenlakpa alias Gunesher s/o O Samungou of Thanga Chingkha Leikai and Tongbram Mitlang alias Babuthoi as made in the media by the so called publicity officer of UNLF lacks substance and is more of a routine rebuttal of realities, which of late is more and more noticeable in the case of UNLF, in particular.

It said that on 4 September, a list of 28 cadres who were to surrender to the Army was published in all leading newspapers of Manipur. 

Thereafter, the antecedents of the 29th cadre, Tongbram Mitlang, of the UNLF was authenticated from various sources including the police, village elders and family members.  Also, he was clearly identified by s/s 2nd Lt. Oinam Chaoren Lakpa as an active cadre of UNLF.

It is strange that there was no refutal or reaction from the UNLF when the names were published in the newspaper.  This also proves the fact that the UNLF, on the actual fructification of the surrender of their two cadres to the Army realized that a refutal must be made as a face saving stance.

It has been clarified that the Army adopts a detailed and established procedure prior to acceptance of surrenders.  The names of potential surrenderees are verified by the police as also by the village head, neighbours and own existing records.  It is only after completion of these procedures that the cadre is found a fit case for surrender.  Even volunteer” surrenderees are not accepted at their face value until the verification procedures are completed.  

It is further clarified that unlike what has been stated by the UNLF, it is the parents of active cadres who constantly request the Army to accept the surrender of their wards.  In no way is the Army involved in “pressurising” the parents.    In any case if the parents wielded such influences on their wards, they would not have joined the underground outfit in the first place.   

Once again it is reiterated that the army does not accept surrender of militants until and unless facts, records and other verification procedures are adhered to in the right earnest.  With fast depletion in their rank and file by way of apprehensions and surrenders at the hands of security forces, it may be more prudent for organisations like UNLF to sit up and take notice, rather than refuting ground realities, the release said.

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