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India Political violence in Tripura: A comprehensive study

Political violence in Tripura: A comprehensive study

While media got interested in Tripura after the BJP replaced the Manik Sarkar government, the region has seen political violence for centuries

Agartala: Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government is the first State administration to approach the issue of political violence, which is rampant also in West Bengal while it manifests only during elections in most other States, institutionally. The State has decided to examine all cases of political violence in which family members of those killed are seeking proper investigation so that culprits are punished.

The government has formed a three-member probe committee headed by Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath which will provide its recommendations after the completion of the investigations, a government notification said.

Besides Nath, the panel has Law Department Principal Secretary DM Jamatia as a member and Home department Additional Secretary Devananda Reang as the convener.

However, the CPI(M), which was at the helm in the State for 25 years before the BJP-led government came to power in March 2018, fears that the panel has been formed to harass the party members. It believes the panel will not look into the incidents of violence that took place in the past one year.

“The State government has decided to examine all cases in which the victims died due to political violence long before and the family members of the victims are claiming for proper investigation of these cases so that the actual culprits are punished as per provision of law,” said the notification issued by Reang on Thursday.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had appealed to all parties in the State to stop violence and said his government would take stern action against the perpetrators irrespective of their political identity.

Deb had said 186 cases of violence were registered in the State after the Election Commission announced the Lok Sabha election schedule in March.

During the 2013 and 2018 Assembly elections, when the CPI(M) was in power, a total of 245 and 439 cases of poll-related violence were registered respectively, the chief minister had said.

Deb’s statement came after CPI(M) leader and former chief minister Manik Sarkar met him on 28 May and urged him to stop violence allegedly unleashed by BJP supporters since the BJP-IPFT government came to power.

CPI(M) State committee member Pabitra Kar Saturday claimed that this committee was formed to harass its workers.

“We also do not think that the recent cases of violence will come under the ambit of the committee. Unchecked terror by BJP supporters are continuing in the State,” said Kar, also secretary of CPI(M) West Tripura district committee.

Political violence in Tripura: Fact check

While the national media got interested in Tripura only after the BJP came to power in the State two years ago, replacing the Manik Sarkar government of the CPI(M), the region has seen political violence since the medieval era. Here’s a chart by police veteran K Saleem Ali from an article published in 2011:

Sl.No. Period Social event Economic event Political event
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
1. 1400-1563 A.D Kingdom with demographic fault line;

Bengal literature encourages.

Vaishnavism adopted.

Settlement of Bengali cultivators to reclaim the land. Active conflict with neighbors on the issue of expansion of the Kingdom.

 

2. 1563-1783 AD Employment of Muslim cultivators.

Migration of Mogs from Chittagong.

Adoption of Bengali as court language.

Migration of Manipuri population.

Revolt by Mog community.

Reclamation of land to increase revenue collection.

 

 

 

 

Increase of Tax.

Loss of Chittagong and Comilla to Mughals.

Feud with Nawab of Bengali on Chakla – Roshnabad.

Contact with East India Company on Zamindari of Chakla-Roshnabad.

Closer contact with British Empire.

3. 1783-1900 A,D, Revolt by Tripuri community.

Revolt by Reang community.

Revolt by Jamatia community.

Conversion of Jamatia community to Vaishnavanism.

Appointment of Bengali administrators for increasing tax collection.

Settlement of Plain Landers, Brahmins, Muslim s & Govt. officers.

Tenancy Act, 1885-86;

Banning of Jhum Cultivation in 1887.

 

Kingdoms get closer to British empire.

Politics in Kings family on succession.

Appointment of British political agent 1871-78.

Appointment of Bengali political agent 1878-1890

Introduction of Cr.P.C and CPC;

4. 1900 – 1949 A.D. Exodus of Bengali population into Tripura in

1911 and 1921 AD.

Tripura Rajya Jana Mangal Samity 1937 Tripura Rajya Gana Parisad formed 1937.

Jana Siksha Samity started movement for education of tribals between 1945-48.

Revolt in Golaghati in 1948.

Revolt in Padmabill in 1949,

3861 sq. miles declared as Reserve Forest.

16-Point Socio-Economic Demand & 20-Point Political Demand.

Fall in tribal literacy.

Praja Mandal Act, 1938 passed.

Ban on both the parties in 1940.

Political movement banned in 1948.

 

 

Tripura Rajya Mukti Parisad was formed by the Communist in May, 1948 to protect the interest of tribals.

5. 1950-1963 AD Influx of refugees in 1950 leads to 25% increase in population.

Ban on Communist Party lifted in 1951.

Agitation for statehood stepped up on 5th Aug, 1953.

Communist Party takes over social reform of tribals in 1954.

Rehabilitation of 70,000 families completed in 1960.

GMP demands for full fledged statehood in 1961.

 

Tribal population decreases from 50% to 35% in 1951.

 

 

 

 

 

Govt. of India policy on the settlement of refugees not cleared till 1955.

 

TLR Act, 1960.

TLR Act amended in 1964.

Debar Commission suggesting tribal compact area in development.

Decision to merge with Union of India in April, 1947;

Death of the King on 17th May,1947, Diwan appointed to run affairs of the state.

Declared Part-6 state in 1951 under Chief Commissioner.

Ban on Communist Party lifted.

Consular advisers appointed in 1952, Left wins both the Parliament seats and the Territorial Council.

Tripura territorial council in 1956. Congress wins by nomination.

Declared Union Territory in 1963

6. 1964-2008 AD Demand for ADC floated by TUJS in 1969.

Influx in 1972.

Communist Party spearheads demands for ADC.

TUJS spearheads pro-tribal demand 1977-80.

Amra Bangali spearheads of pro-non-tribal demand 1977-80.

1980 – Riots.

 

Surrender of ATPLO in 1983.

 

 

 

Killing of non-tribals by TNV increases in 1988.

 

All Tripura Tribal Force formed in 1990.

All Tripura Tiger Force formed in 1993.

ADC proposed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TNV accord in 1988.

ST seats increased from 17 to 20.

Surrender of ATTF in 1993.

TUJS formed in 1967.

Granted statehood in 1972.

Left comes to power in 1977.

ADC Bill passed in 1977 approved by Parliament in 1982.

TNV formed in 1977.

 

ATPLO formed in 1980.

CPM comes to power in 1983.

ADC under Sixth Schedule in April, 1985.

Congress comes to power in 1988.

NLFT formed on 14th April 1989.

 

 

Left Front wins in 1993 election.

INPT wins in the ADC election, 2000.*

Large number of surrenders took place after 2000 A.D. Details are given in ANNEXURE-III.

Political violence: Annexure II

Statistics of development*

Year GDP Population in ‘00 Per Capita(in Rs.) Total Budget(figure in crores)Plan Non-Plan JFMC Beneficiaries(ST families) Rubber Plantation(ST families)
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
1999-2000 486673 31840 15285 538 1200 1094
2000-2001 549919 32000 17185 487 1494 6301 801
2001-2002 637007 32060 19869 634 1730 1066
2002-2003 673325 32650 20623 652 1778 671
2003-2004 755059 33070 22832 682 1968 1082
2004-2005 829685 33490 24774 706 1972 785
2005-2006 938841 33900 27694 1021 2352 1001
2006-2007 1032223 34320 30076 1151 2270 8976 1977
2007-2008 1082143 34740 31150 1370 2535 2027
  • Courtesy: Department of Economic & Statistics, Government of Tripura
  • ** Land restoration: 29.148 petitions for land restoration were received; 20,034 petitions were rejected and 9082 were settled in which 7347 acres were restored.

Annexure III

Extremism-related crime, 1995-2008***

Year Inci

dent

Civilian

Killed

Civilian

Injured

SF

Killed

SF

Injured

Persons

Kidnap

ped

Persons

Relea

sed

Persons

Killed

Persons

untraced

Ext

Killed

Ext

Arrest

Enco

unter

Am

bush

Arms

Looted

Arms

Reco

vered

Ext

Surren

dered

Main Colla
1995 545 91 68 31 21 367 323 21 23 30 25 75 63 20 27 10+141 2196
1996 332 86 58 30 20 298 266 17 15 16 36 75 29 25 21 4+119 638
1997 242 167 69 49 29 158 127 17 14 15 70 208 20 17 33 15+61 533
1998 366 180 140 23 24 401 299 35 67 16 47 214 22 07 11 13+46 02
1999 428 163 103 46 26 480 309 48 123 23 46 460 39 13 38 27+31 31
2000 610 252 383 18 22 542 327 44 171 37 158 864 65 05 14 31+87 100
2001 270 144 134 31 35 177 120 19 38 34 169 535 65 07 23 18+38 342
2002 207 120 56 43 19 159 106 19 34 21 52 282 44 05 33 16+16 112
2003 380 205 114 39 59 216 144 27 45 55 162 559 108 08 38 25+16 251
2004 210 70 47 48 14 105 55 06 44 52 101 367 82 10 40 31+17 322
2005 152 35 46 11 10 65 52 01 12 20 51 297 65 04 06 10+16 136
2006 121 20 17 14 26 38 18 04 16 20 55 149 58 07 06 17+14 147
2007 129 14 13 07 03 72 51 04 17 20 52 150 41 04 05 14+25 240
2008 86 08 67 03 02 35 19 16 17 98 32 30 01 12+29 438

*** Courtesy: SCRB Tripura Police

Tripura Police strength

Year Strength Year Strength Year Strength
1974 4,432 1986 8,801 1998 12,478
1975 4,854 1987 10,448 1999 13,236
1976 5,374 1988 10,527 2000 13,884
1977 5,506 1989 10,819 2001 16,056
1978 5,790 1990 10,768 2002 17,766
1979 5,910 1991 10,767 2003 18,652
1980 6,421 1992 11,158 2004 18,701
1981 6,654 1993 11,574 2005 18,412
1982 7,302 1994 11,574 2006 19,579
1983 7,475 1995 11,611 2007 20,057
1984 8,584 1996 11,800 2008 21,477
1985 8,793 1997 12,359 2009 23,330
  • The deployment of CRPF varied from 14 to 5 Battalions during the period 1995 – 2009; maximum being during 2000 A.D.;
  • The deployment of Assam Rifles varied from 2 to 4 Battalions during the period 1995 to 2009.
  • Strength of Home Guards which was 2886 in the year 1995 decreased to 1575 in 2009.
  • Strength of Special Police Officers raised in the year 2000 increase from 150 to 3778 in the year 2009.

**** Courtesy: Tripura Police

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