Imphal, Oct.6 (ANI): 'Meira Paibis' or, the women torch bearers in Manipur are supposed to be the leading civil society organization in the State. But their links with militant outfits were recently exposed.
The 'Meira Paibi' came into existence in April 1980, when womenfolk in Imphal West district carried out a huge protest rally. Over a period of time, Meira Paibis have raised human rights issues and held protests against militant activities in the State.
Imphal West police, however, exposed the nexus between Meira Paibis and the proscribed Revolutionary People's Front (RPF).
On September 19, 43-year-old R K Rina alias Ningol, a RPF cadre and member of a Meira Paibi, was arrested for planning the 32nd Raising Day of the outfit on September 25.
A pistol was recovered from her possession.
Police have also identified the Meira Paibis who had contacted the arrested woman cadre.
"The woman cadre is the General Secretary of the Meira Paibi and taking advantage of it. She has coordinated many women social organizations with RPF/PLA. The incident indicates that other Meira Paibis are also having links with insurgent outfits in the State," said L Ibomcha Singh, PS, ASI Imphal West.
Revolutionary People's Front, the political wing of People's Liberation Army is expanding its reach and is recruiting new cadres.
In an attempt to make inroads into Meira Paibis and other social organizations, it is funding them. It has paid rupees 135,000 to SLUCO (Singjamei Lilong Area) and Rs.104,000 to AFCO of Sagolband.
It was planning to spend some 300,000 rupees on its 32nd Raising Day.
People in Manipur have been shocked by these revelations.
"It is true that some members in Meira Paibis are corrupt. And, the incident has tarnished the image of Meira Paibis in Manipur. People are now raising questions about these organizations," said Babumacha Singh, a local resident.
"Meira Paibi is a unique and respected organization. They should maintain the faith and should not engage in any activity that destroys people's trust in them," said another local resident Lokendra Singh.
Meira Paibis has occupied a prominent placed in the society in Manipur - socially, economically and politically. This reputation, however, has come under the scanner following exposure of their linkages with militant outfits. (ANI)