Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia



I. Overview

Skepticism prevailed over optimism at the end of 2004 in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) ruled Tripura despite the surrender of 138 cadres of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (Nayanbashi Jamatia faction) on 29 December 2004. On 17 December 2004, a seven-point tripartite settlement was signed by the Central government, the Tripura government and the NLFT (Nayanbasi Jamatia faction). However, NLFT leader, Nayanbashi Jamatia neither signed the agreement nor was he present during the surrender ceremony. Earlier, 72 members of the NLFT (Montu Koloi faction) surrendered. [1] On 15 April 2004, two factions of NLFT respectively led by Nayanbashi Jamatiya and Montu Koloi signed a tri-partite agreement with the Centre and Tripura governments. [2] Under the agreement of 17 December 2004, the state government agreed to withdraw all cases against them except those relating to crime against women. A special package worth Rs 55 crore was approved for development of the tribal areas. The government also agreed to formulate a special rehabilitation package for the surrendered cadres beyond the normal surrender scheme. [3]

Although the Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT), NLFT faction led by Biswamohan Debbarma and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) did not sign any ceasefire agreement, the incidents of violence by the non-State actors have reportedly gone down by 40 per cent in 2004. There was also decrease of killing by 61 percent by the armed opposition groups with 67 killings in 2004 in comparison to 172 killings in 2003. [4]

The security forces were responsible for torture and extrajudicial executions. On 28 March 2004, Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Range) Akhil Kumar Shukla reportedly issued a circular directing Officers-in-Charge of police stations in Tripura to refrain from disseminating any information to the media or to any other quarter about encounter killings in the midst of allegations of extrajudicial killings. [5] The State government failed to make the reports of inquiries into the extrajudicial executions of Rathojoy Jamatia and Biswas Singh Malsom on 20 December 2003, Subodh Debbarma on 14 March 2004 and Ramesh Debbarma on 31 December 2003 public.

The armed opposition groups were also responsible for gross violations of international humanitarian laws including violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture and taking of hostages. Altogether 69 people were allegedly killed and 59 injured by the armed opposition groups in 2004. [6]

Women continued to be victims of violence, including rape, both by the security forces and the armed opposition groups.

The indigenous peoples who constitute 30.95% of the total population belong to the lowest ladder in all spheres of the society. The effective functioning of the Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) was hamstrung by political rivalries between the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura and its off-shoot organization, National Socialist Party of Tripura (NSPT) backed by the ruling CPM. On 30 December 2004, governor D N Sahaya dissolved the TTAADC before its scheduled expiry on 19 May 2005 to bring an end to the factional feud in the ruling NSPT. [7]

Tripura has a large number of people displaced because of increasing land alienation, insurgency and fencing of Indo-Bangladesh border. There were about 70,000 internally displaced persons but the government has little plans of action to rehabilitate them. [8]

[1] . Sterile surrender Tripura rebeal leaders unpredictable, The Statesman, 29 December 2004

[2] . Rehabilitation package on the cards, The Sentinel, 17 April 2004

[3] . NLFT signs seven-point agreement, The Shillong Times, 20 December 2004

[4] . Tripura 2004 - low insurgency deaths, high suicide rate, The Deccan Herald, 31 December 2004

[5] . Police face rash killing slur in Tripura, The Telegraph, 30 March 2004

[6] . ’69 people killed by insurgents in Tripura this year’, The Assam Tribune, 16 December 2004

[7] . Governor dissolves ADC, SK Rakesh appointed administrator, The Tripurainfo, 31 December 2004

[8] . Over 7000 families will be shifted elsewhere due to border fencing, The, 8 September 2004