An “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal”, formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, would visit Tripura from February 2 to record evidence against two outlawed insurgent outfits. The Home Ministry had imposed a fresh ban of five years on the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) on October 3, 2018 for their violent and subversive activities.
The government had set up the tribunal, headed by Delhi High Court Judge Suresh Kait, on November 15 last year for adjudicating whether or not the two Tripura-based militant outfits should be declared banned organisations under the law. The tribunal had issued show cause notice to the two outfits on November 27, 2018 for submitting their objections or reply within 30 days.
“The NLFT and ATTF, if they wish, may represent themselves on February 2 and February 3 at 10:30 AM before the tribunal at Agartala by making a communication to the Registrar of the Tribunal well in advance,” a press release issued by the state government said on Tuesday. The NLFT was formed on March 12, 1989 with Dhananjoy Reang as its self-styled chairman.
Reang was later expelled from the NLFT in 1993 and Nayanbasi Jamatia became the leader of the faction. In another split in 2001, a faction led by one Biswamohan Debbarma emerged, which is now the main active wing of the outfit. The NLFT was outlawed in 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and later under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
The ATTF was formed as All Tripura Tribal Force (ATTF) on July 11, 1990 by a group of former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) under the leadership of Ranjit Debbarma. Though the TNV surrendered arms as per a peace accord with the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, the Ranjit Debbarma faction dissociated themselves and rechristened itself as ATTF.
The ATTF surrendered en masse in 1993 as per the ATTF Peace Accord but the Ranjit Debbarma faction continued insurgency activities till Debbarma was arrested in Bangladesh in 2012.
With inputs from TOI