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Friday, October 23, 2020

Tripura: Returnee insurgent body to move court over ‘non-implementation’ of 1993 peace accord

Speaking to reporters, TUIPC convener and former chief of the dreaded ATTF, Ranjit Debbarma, said efforts of successive state governments combined have fulfilled only 10 per cent of the peace accord.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: October 2, 2020 3:19:08 pm
tripura, tripura 1993 peace accord, Tripura United Indigenous Peoples Council, Tripura insurgency body, indian expressTUIPC convener and former chief of the dreaded ATTF Ranjit Debbarma. (File photo/ANI)

Tripura United Indigenous Peoples Council (TUIPC), a joint body of 48 returnee insurgent outfits of Tripura, said it will move the high Court against the state government for allegedly failing to implement 1993 ATTF Accord.

Speaking to reporters, TUIPC convener and former chief of the dreaded ATTF, Ranjit Debbarma, said efforts of successive state governments combined have fulfilled only 10 per cent of the peace accord.

All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) was originally founded as All Tripura Tribal Force in 1990, by a group of former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) terrorists, who, after the 1988 TNV peace accord struck by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, tried to regroup. The outfit rechristened itself as All Tripura Tiger Force sometime in 1992.

After a few years of widespread violence, 1,600 cadres of the outfit laid down arms, accepting an amnesty scheme offered by the state government in the 1993 ATTF Accord. However, a group of ATTF cadres which did not surrender tried to stay active under its supremo Ranjit Debbarma till he was arrested in Bangladesh in 2012.

On Friday, Ranjit said the covenant drawn up between the outfit and state government-mandated cessation of all underground activities in exchange of a host of assurances, including resettlement and rehabilitation of all returnee ATTF personnel, detection of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh through a survey and deport those identified in the process, restore tribal lands, introduce Inner Line Permit (ILP), etc, remains unfulfilled.

The returnee leader claimed that only some housing, drinking water benefits and a few jobs have so far been rolled out for the returnees.

The peace accord agreed on inclusion of tribal majority villages in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, village police force for district council areas, improvement of Kokborok and other tribal languages, preservation of the royal Ujjayanta Palace as a historical monument, renaming of villages, rivers etc, jhumiya (shifting cultivation) resettlement among others, Debbarma said.

“The erstwhile Left Front government didn’t take any steps to implement the agreement. We sought intervention from the BJP-led government through letters, memoranda but they were unfruitful as well. We have decided to seek justice from the High Court. We are going to file a case against the state government,” Debbarma said.

The tribal armed insurgency, which swelled between 1980 and late 2000s in Tripura, largely came down during the erstwhile Left Front government’s rule. Lucrative offers with instant grant of Rs 1.5 lakh, vocational training for 36 months and Rs 2,000 stipend during training offered to the returnee insurgents, especially during the tenure of former chief minister Manik Sarkar, were found to be much helpful in curbing the insurgency crisis, coupled with counter-insurgency operations by the state’s Tripura State Rifles (TSR).

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