Irengbam Chaoren, who called himself the chairman of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a banned militant group in Manipur, died on Friday at the age of 65 after a long illness caused by cancer. The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), which is the political arm of the PLA and one of the oldest rebel organisations in Manipur, was led by him. He assumed the position of RPF chairman in 1990.
According to sources, the RPF/PLA announced a 15-day mourning period to pay tribute to the deceased rebel leader in a statement released on Saturday. The RPF which is the political wing of the PLA has issued a small circular on social media.
According to sources, the president of the PLA had been residing in China for a long period of time. As of now, there has been no official communication from within the party regarding the succession of the president. Gunen, the party’s General Secretary, and Prabeen Sharma, the Chief of the Army Staff, are believed to be the top contenders for the position. The PLA was formed under the leadership of N. Bisheswar Singh in September 1978 with the aim to create a revolutionary front composing of different groups from the Northeast region.