Who benefited from insurgency ?


There is widespread allegations against the Communists in Tripura of using extremism for power politics to regain lost land in 1993 and since in consolidation of power, mainly in tribal dominated areas. Probably, for that reason, the Left Front government allowed extremism to rise to its pick till it challenged Leftists in 2000 ADC elections. The whole state was left-free for armed extremists. They moved freely all around, attacked police barracks, ambushed security forces’ patrolling, massacred villages by indiscriminate killing, kidnapping and burning of shelters. Terror spread throughout the state. Almost everyday something unholy happened. People cried, media outburst, criticism sky rocketed but the steel-made Communist government remained indifferent. Ministers and officers remained busy with hundreds of recreational programs in Agartala. Different types of entertaining functions and festivals were arranged that suppressed the cry of the people. One can just imagine how much fearful the situation could have been in that period, with following data. In between 1997-2000, a total of 2311 extremist incidents took place in a state of 10,491 sq km only. Average incidents, 577 per year. The deadly game-plan of the Communists badly faced a jolt in 2000 ADC elections. Amidst uncontrolled law & order condition, tribal based political party IPFT ousted CPIM from the power in ADC. CPIM almost uprooted from the hills. CPIM leaders alleged that extremists’ outfit NLFT was instrumental in bringing IPFT to power. Therefore, CPIM reached the danger point. Communist govt. then decided to hit back to retain the stronghold in the hills. The govt. that was visibly silent spectators of the miseries and devastations of the public for almost a decade’s period, suddenly became recharged with tremendous will-power and came down heavily upon the insurgents. But the credit of post year 2000 massive counter-insurgency operations should not go to the state govt. The agenda before the Communist govt. was not to bring back peace & normalcy but to regain lost hills. It was Union Government and union home minister LK Advani who took pro-active steps to standby the screaming people of Tripura. Report of the Ministry of Home affairs, Govt. of India on situation in the State of Tripura in the year 2000 gives a clear picture. Report says, “Central government has been closely monitoring the situation in the state. As many as 158 coys of Central Para Military Forces were deployed in the state. Besides, liberal assistance has been provided to the state for modernization of police forces, reimbursement of security related expenditure, sanction of three Indian Reserve Battalions. The major militant groups, namely the NLFT and ATTF have been declared as ‘unlawful associations’ under the provisions of Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Act, 1967”. Report says, “A series of meetings were held in the Ministry of Home Affairs to review the situation in the state after which a comprehensive Action Plan was worked out to tackle the situation in the state. There were also a series of high level visits to the state. Home Minister himself visited Tripura on 27/28 March 2000. This was followed by Home Secretary’s visit to Tripura on 7/8 June 2000.” Indicating gravity of the situation, report says, “Kidnappings, in the state(Tripura), had become a cottage industry with the state accounting for almost 70% of kidnapping incidents in the entire North East”. The following table makes year 2000 as the base year Period Surrender Civilians killed Extremists killed S/F killed Total killing 1993-2000 2460 1784 192 247 2223 2001-2008 2137 656 303 187 1146