Imphal: Irengbam Chaoren, the president of the proscribed Revolutionary People’s Front (FPF), one of the largest insurgent groups in northeast India, died on Friday after a long fight with brain cancer.
The 66-year-old leader served as the party’s president from 1990 till his last breath. As a mark of respect and honour to the departed leader, the party’s flag will be flown at half-mast from February 10 till February 25, according to a statement issued by the outfit’s Deputy Secretary, Publicity Roben Khuman, on Saturday.
Born to Late Irengbam Ibomcha and Irengbam Ongbi Jamuna, at Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai, on November 2, 1957, Chaoren was the eldest among three brothers.
He began his schooling at LP School Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai and shifted to ME School Elangbam Leikai, Keishamthong. He passed his metric from Ramlal Paul Higher Secondary School in 1974 and his PUC in science from Oriental College in 1976. He received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Manipur College in 1978. He was a founding member of the Khagempalli Leikai Youth Social Club and also held the position of Finance Secretary. Chaoren joined the Manipur liberation movement after one or two years of graduation, with his mother’s blessing.
Chaoren was also the convenor of the proscribed CorCom, an umbrella organisation of seven armed outfits operating in Manipur since its formation in July 2011.
According to reports, the RPF’s armed wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was founded on September 25, 1978, under the leadership of N Bisheswar Singh.
The PLA aims to organise a revolutionary front covering the entire northeast and unite all ethnic groups, including the Meiteis, Nagas, and Kukis, to liberate Manipur. In 1989, the PLA formed a political body called the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF).
RPF/PLA has been launching serious armed guerrilla attacks against the Indian Army and is one of the few insurgent groups that has refused to engage in any peace talks with the Government of India.