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'PLA wanted to join hands with Maoists and JK terrorists'

Last updated on: October 7, 2011 16:45 IST

'PLA wanted to join hands with Maoists and JK terrorists'

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The outlawed People's Liberation Army intends to form a 'Strong United Front' against Indian government along with Maoists and JK-based terror outfits, the Delhi police on Friday claimed after arresting two "high-ranking" militants of the Manipur-based organisation.

The arrests, police claimed, helped in exposing the nexus between the PLA, which aims to liberate Manipur through armed struggle, and Maoists and their intention to form a "strategic united front" against their "common enemy - the Indian government".

The PLA had also provided logistics, training, weapons and communication system to the Communist party of India-Maoist and had twice trained their cadre in the jungles of Jharkhand and Orissa in 2009 and 2010 besides planning to conduct two more training camps for the Maoists next year, it said.

"We had arrested N Dilip Singh, 51 and Arun Kumar Singh Salam, 36 from a hotel in central Delhi's Paharganj on October one. Following their arrest, Manipur police have arrested three more persons in Imphal," P N Aggarwal, Special Commissioner (Special Cell), told reporters.

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Image: Maoists with their weapons

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PLA is reported to have connections with ISI

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Singh, a self-styled captain, is the head of PLA's external affairs while Salam is his deputy. They came to Delhi as both had been instructed by their superiors to discuss the modalities regarding providing logistics, training, weapons and communication training to Maoists.

Their interrogation and seizure of a laptop and documents from them have shown, he claimed, that the PLA and Maoists had agreed on a joint declaration "intending to form a 'Strategic United Front' to extend full support to each other in their struggle to overthrow the Indian government.

"After the formation of such a front, their intention was to form a 'Strong United Front' which would include the CPI-Maoist, militant organisations of North-East and terror outfits in Kashmir, for it would be effective in challenging the Indian government," he said.

Aggarwal, however, did not mention the name of any Kashmir-based terror outfit which PLA intended to rope in. He said PLA is also reported to have contacts with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.

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Image: Policemen stand near a crater caused by a landmine explosion in Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters
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The camps could be spread as far as Myanmar

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He said the duo was in Delhi to discuss modalities of setting up joint training camps of PLA and CPI-Maoist in Myanmar. Singh went by the code name N Wangba while Salam, a self-styled Lieutenant, went by the code Willow.

"They were staying in the Delhi hotel using fake IDs. Singh had come from North-East while Salam came from Pune where he was running a travel agency. Salam was sent there with a specific task," he said.

Following the arrests, Pune Police conducted a raid at Salam's residence from where his laptop and books were seized.

The books and documents seized from the residence of Salam, a post graduate with interest in geo-politics, included those on Maoist ideology, intelligence units and security forces, guerrilla warfare, ambush and counter ambush, Nepali Maoist movement and its implication, battle psychology, counter insurgencies and proceedings of PLA in coded language.

"In 2010, Singh had met Maoist leader Kishen Da, a Polit Bureau member of the CPI-Maoist and others in Jharkhand. In October 2008, the PLA and Maoists signed a joint declaration against the Indian government.

It was signed by Secretary General of Revolutionary People's Front (PLA's political arm) S Gunin and Maoist leader 'Alok'," Aggarwal said. Manipur police have informed their Delhi counterparts that Singh and Salam were slapped with charges under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

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Image: Naxalites in a Chhattisgarh jungle
Photographs: Chindu Sreedharan
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'The PLA is very well organised'

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According to Aggarwal, Singh had joined the armed wing of PLA in 1988 as a sepoy and promoted to the rank of Captain in 2009 while Singh joined the outfit in 1997 as a sepoy and commissioned in June 2011 to the rank of Lieutenant.

He said the PLA's political arm Revolutionary People's Front runs a government-in-exile from Myanmar with an elaborate structure. "As part of its revitalisation efforts, the PLA was reorganised on the lines of a disciplined army.

"The PLA now has four divisions and each division has a commander, lieutenants, sergeant, lance corporals and sepoys in its ranks. The cadre strength is 1,500 and they armed with sophisticated arms," he said, adding that seven Metei outfits had formed a United Front to pursue their goals.

Aggarwal said the training camps conducted by the PLA in 2009 and 2010 for Maoists were meant for cadres from Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

They were trained in basic military tactics, guerrilla warfare ambushing and wireless communication skills," he said. The PLA was formed in 1978 comprising ethnic groups such as Nagas, Kukis and Meiteis with the objective of liberating Manipur.

In January this year, Delhi Police had arrested a 28-year-old self-styled Lieutenant - Oinam Ibomcha Singh – of the banned outfit.

Singh had joined PLA in 1999-2000 and underwent trainingin handling of arms and ammunition in Myanmar in the camps of Maoists. His areas of operation were Delhi-Guwahati-Dimapur, police had then said.


Image: Security personnel keep watch at a Maoist-infested village in Bihar
Photographs: Reuters
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