Background: -Tripura, a land- locked hilly state in the North-Eastern India is surrounded on the north, west and south by Bangladesh. It has an international land boundary with Bangladesh for about 856 Km. The state has been facing the scourge of militancy for more than two decades. Presently two militant groups namely NLFT and ATTF are operating in the state. They are equipped with sophisticated weapons and have the expertise and training in explosive handling largely due to their link with ISI. Some fundamentalist elements of Bangladesh who are opposed to Indo-Bangladesh friendship tie are also providing logistic support to the outfits. The Chittagong Hill-Tracts is the haven and training grounds for militants of the North-Eastern region including Tripura. Tripura militants continue to operate from the soil of Bangladesh with the active support from the anti-Indian forces backed by the ISI. The militants are responsible for unleashing reign of terror and disruptive activities in the soil of Tripura to destabilize democratically constituted Government. There are numerous training and arms supply infrastructure of Tripura militants in Bangladesh.
NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT OF TWIPRA (NLFT) :-
ORIGIN :- In December 1988, a conference of surrendered TNV was held at Rangamura, PS Teliamura under the leadership of Sri B.K.Hrangkhwal, Ananta Deb Barma, Kartik Kolai, Kamini Deb Barma, Dhananjoy Reang and some others on the issue of future plan and programme of TNV and implementation of TNV accord. On that conference Dhananjoy Reang and some others raised some discontents. The followers of Dhananjoy Reang were not satisfied on the process of implementation of TNV accords by the then Government. It is also noted that Dhananjoy Reang was vice President of TNV, but he did not take major role on the surrender of TNV and he also did not participate in any talk held between TNV leaders and administrative representatives neither at Govindabari PS Chawmanu or in New Delhi. So it is clear that Dhananjoy Reang was unhappy with the TNV accord. In that TNV conference Dhananjoy Reang rose a question for keeping up an armed group in case of necessity to realize demands noted in accord through arms struggle. But major participants of the conference squashed the proposal. It is assumed after that conference that Dhananjoy Reang possessed an intention to raise an armed group for accelerating the process of implementation of TNV accord.
Accordingly on 12 March 1989 NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT OF TWIPRA (NLFT) was congregated at Gandatwicha with some disgruntled former TNV hawks led by Dhananjoy Reang, the then vice president of TNV. The group first looted arms from Tainani police out post under R.K.Pur Police station on 11th December 1991 when the names of its armed wing “NATIONAL HOLY ARMY” revealed. The National holy army looted away 9-‘303 rifles from Tainani out post. After looting that outpost NLFT built up its secured base camps at Chakako Bari, Dabandaibari under Santirbazar Police station and Khumlung Bari under Natunbazar Police station. Dhananjoy Reang, President of the then NLFT, first published the constitution of NLFT in 1991. But large number of its leaders,follower including founding members have returned to mainstream of life in different phases. NLFT outfit has been declared as unlawful, banned organization by the Government of India.
OBJECTIVES: - The NLFT, a tribal extremist outfit, was formed in 1989 under the leadership of Biswamohan Debbarma. The objectives of the outfits are:-
To liberate Tripura from union of India.
To deport all foreigners who entered into Tripura after 1956.
To restore alienated tribal’s lands
With a view to fulfill the objectives of the outfit, a large number of tribal youths of Tripura were taken to their hide outs in Bangladesh and imparted them training on arms, handling explosives. They procured large quantity of sophisticated weapons from the arms smugglers in Bangladesh to carry out subversive and secessionist activities in Tripura. During the last two decade, over 600 innocent people have been killed by this outfit and huge quantities of arms were looted. The outfit also abducted over 700 innocent people for ransom and killed large number of innocent people in their captivity. A number of members of the outfit are wanted in a series of criminal cases like murder, abduction etc.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE: - Present organizational structure of the outfit is as under
i) Biswamohan Debbrma- President,
ii) Subir Debbarma – Vice President,
iii) Upendra Reang – General Secy
iv) Sachin Debbarma – Army Chief.
v) Atharababu Halam- Dy. Army Chief.
iv) Mangal Debbarma @ kecha kecha- Dy. Army Chief
NLFT LINK WITH MILITANTS OF NORTH EAST STATES :-
(a) NSCN (IM) (National Socialist Council of Nagalim, Issac/ Muivah)
(b) ANVC (Achik National Volunteer Council) (Garo)
(b) HNLC (Hynnienwtrep National Liberation Council) (Khasia)
(d) NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland ) (BODO)
(e) KYKL (Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup) (Manipuri extremist)
( f) BBFM (Bru Development force of Mizoram)
There are numerous training and arms supply infrastructure of Tripura militants in Bangladesh mostly in CHT.
All TRIPURA TIGER FORCE (ATTF)
ORIGIN: - All Tripura Tiger Force was initially established as All Tripura Tribal Force on 11th July 1990. Differences had cropped up between the leaders of ATTF namely Ranjit Debbarma and Lalit Debbarma on the issue of signing a ‘Memorandum of settlement’ with the Govt of Tripura and surrender of its cadres. Lalit Debbarma and his followers signed the ‘Memorandum of settlement’ on 23-08-1993. 1633 militants surrendered to the Government. But others did not surrender, rather continued with terrorist activities. Since then, it has come to be known as “All Tripura Tiger Force”. But large number of its leaders, followers including founding members has returned to mainstream of life in different phases.
NLFT/ ATTF outfit has been declared as unlawful, banned organization by the Government of India.
i) Expulsion of all foreigners who entered Tripura after 1956
ii) Land restoration to tribal under “Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act “, 1960.
iii) Removal of names of illegal migrants from electoral roll who entered Tripura after 1956
iv) Implementation of the ‘Tripura Merger Agreement’ which came into force on 15th October, 1949, under Article 291 and 362 of the Indian Constitution.
With a view to fulfill the objectives of the outfit, The ATTF leadership also misguided a large number of tribal youths, took them to Bangladesh and imparted training on handling arms and explosives. The outfit thereby committed similar secessionist and disruptive activities in the state. Around 300 innocent people have been killed by this outfit. They also looted huge quantities of arms from SF during the same period and abducted over 200 innocent people for ransom. Many of these abducted victims were killed even after realization of ransom.
LINKAGE WITH OTHER NE MILITANT GROUPS :-
(i) NSCN (K) – National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang).
(ii) PLA- People’s Liberation Army of Manipur
(iii) ULFA – United Liberation Front of Assam
(iv) UNLF- United National Liberation Front of Manipur
(v) PREPAK- People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Manipur).
(vi) KLO – West Bengal.
There are numerous training and arms supply infrastructure of Tripura militants in Bangladesh mostly in Srimongal and Moulavibazar Districts.