An NIA Special Court Wednesday passed a landmark judgment, convicting 18 leaders of the proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the oldest Manipuri insurgent group, and awarded them rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from 7 to 10 years. UNLF’s chairman R K Meghen was sentenced to jail for seven years.
This is the first time that almost the entire top rung of an insurgent group of the Northeast has been convicted. The UNLF, formed on November 24, 1964, had declared India an “occupational power” and vowed to create a sovereign Manipur state.
The Special Judge convicted the 18 leaders under several sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and the IPC, for various offences, including waging war against the government of India and criminal conspiracies of terrorist acts, and awarded them imprisonment under seven different cases. The court also ordered confiscation of all seized properties in favour of the State in due course.
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UNLF chairman Raj Kumar Meghen has been awarded imprisonment for seven years under Section 20 of UAPA. Meghen, who was arrested in Bangladesh in September 2010 and subsequently handed over to India, has also been convicted under Sections 18 and 18(B) of the UAPA (terrorist conspiracy), and Sections 121(A) and 122 of IPC, pertaining to waging war against India.
Ten others have been sentenced to 10 years in jail under Section 121(A) of IPC. The same people have also received eight years in jail under Section 18 of UAPA. One of them has been awarded 10 years in jail under Section 122 of IPC, while two others have been awarded seven years in jail separately under Section 18(B) and Section 17 of UAPA.