UNLF: Exploring the Oldest Valley-Based Armed Group in Manipur and Its history, vision, key events, agenda, and the path to peace

Founded in November 1964, UNLF stands as Manipur’s oldest valley-based armed group, dedicated to achieving a sovereign and socialist Manipur. The organization’s central committee boasts prominent figures such as Sana Yaima, Kalalung Kamei, Thankhopao Singsit, Arambam Samarendra, and Longjam Manimohan.

Banned under UAPA: UNLF’s status


The UNLF operates under the shadow of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), rendering it a banned organization due to its separatist insurgent nature.

Historical roots and armed struggle

Emerging in response to Manipur’s merger with India post-independence, UNLF initiated its armed struggle, deeming the merger an illegitimate act. The group’s activities, spanning extortion, arms trading, and attacks on security forces, have played a significant role in the northeast region of India, hosting multiple organized training camps.

UNLF’s historical milestones and key events

In November 2019, UNLF chairperson Rajkumar Meghen was released from Guwahati Central Jail after serving a decade-long sentence.

Fast forward to November 2023, and a historic moment unfolded as the UNLF signed a peace agreement with the central government, concluding a six-decade-long armed movement.

UNLF’s vision and controversies

The organization’s primary agenda revolves around establishing an independent socialist Manipur. However, its pursuit of this goal has led to controversial activities, including supplying arms and ammunition to various terrorist outfits in the Northeast, reportedly with Myanmar’s security forces’ involvement.

Impact on the Region: Conflict and resolution

UNLF’s activities have significantly influenced the region, fueling a prolonged conflict with security forces. The recent peace agreement with the central government marks a crucial turning point, signaling hope for peace and stability in the strife-torn region.

A transformative step towards peace

UNLF’s journey spans six decades of armed struggle, marked by violence and conflict. However, the recent decision to sign a peace agreement with the central government represents a paradigm shift, as the group embraces a non-violent path, symbolizing a significant stride towards lasting peace and stability in Manipur.