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Banned insurgent outfits call for shutdown in Tripura, Manipur today

The militant groups argue that both Manipur and Tripura were merged with the Indian Union on October 15, 1949 “under duress”.

tripura news, tripura bandh, tripura manipur bandh, nlft calls for bandh, asuk calls for bandh, north east india news The Tripura police said they have taken precautionary measures ahead of the bandh. (Representational Image)

Outlawed insurgent groups of Tripura and Manipur have called for a total shutdown in the two north-eastern states on October 15, arguing that the two states were merged with the Indian Union “under duress”.

A joint statement issued by the two outlawed outfits, Alliance for Socialist Unity, Kangleipak (ASUK) and National Liberation Front of Twipra, on Saturday said the outfits have called a total shutdown in the two states from 5 am to 5. Religious activities and emergency services would be exempted from the ban, the statement said.

While ASUK is a conglomerate of several militant outfits operating in Manipur, NLFT is a militant outfit based in Tripura.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Tripura Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Arindam Nath said, “We have come to know about this issue. We have taken precautionary measures. We are ready to brace it. No disturbance is likely to happen.”

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The militant groups argue that both Manipur and Tripura were merged with the Indian Union on October 15, 1949 “under duress”.

“India has been occupying Kangleipak (Manipur) and Twipra (Tripura) since the 15th October, 1949 after the two infamous ‘Merger Agreements’ of 1949. The said merger agreements were signed under duress by two incompetent authorities of the two kingdoms,” the statement said.

Manipur’s merger was instrumentalised by the ‘Maharaja’ of Manipur Bodh Chandra Singh and VP Menon on behalf of the Government of India, while Tripura’s Merger was signed by the ‘Regent Maharani’ Kanchanprabha Devi, who was in charge of the State since her husband and the last reigning king of Tripura Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya died in 1947.

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The insurgent outfits have tried to reason that the Manipur king was reduced to a ‘mere figurehead’ of the kingdom after installation of an elected legislature and government while Tripura’s queen regent had ‘questionable legitimacy’ after the unilateral dissolution of the council of regency. The outlawed groups have also claimed these two states’ merger was done out of ‘pure miscalculation’ and ‘unrealistic comprehension’ that the then dominion of India would become a loose confederation of states and provinces like British colonial India.

Claiming that Indian priorities are to create an ‘Aryan Hindu nation’ out of the present diversity, the outfits called for armed struggle for national independence. In a sort of introspection, they have stated that northeast armed insurgency hasn’t provided any relief to these two states barring ‘lip service’ and have called for ‘united and consolidated movement’.

NLFT was outlawed in 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and later under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, NLFT has been responsible for violent activities including 317 insurgency incidents in which 28 security forces and 62 civilians lost their lives during the period 2005-2015. Peace talks with NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by NLFT since 2016. A large group of 88 NLFT ultras surrendered with weapons in front of the state government in August earlier this year.

First published on: 14-10-2019 at 10:09:23 pm
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