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NLFT on peace talk to central govt., series of demands to be placed in meeting today: Another meeting likely after ADC poll
TIWN
NLFT on peace talk to central govt., series of demands to be placed in meeting today: Another meeting likely after ADC poll
PHOTO : TIWN File Photo of surrendered militants.

AGARTALA, April 4 (TIWN): The banned militant outfit National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) would hold a peace talks with the central and the Tripura governments today leaving behind their decades-long agenda for sovereignty and an independent state. The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has also agreed to the militant outfit's proposal. According to the highly placed source during the meeting today the NLFT leaders would place certain demands with the central govt. today, and if the demands are fulfilled than the NLFT cadres would again meet the central govt. after the general election to TTAADC, declared to be held on May 3.The source today talking to TIWN said that the leaders of the NLFT would hold a peace talks with the centre as well as with the state govt. He said the talks would be within the constitutional provision. The meeting is scheduled to be held today at Shillong. However, it is worthy to mention here that the NLFT led by its self-styled chief Biswamohan Debbarma expressed its willingness to the central government a few months back to hold talks. The union home ministry sought opinion of the state government in this regard.The sources also added that the state govt. here has confirmed the move of tripartite talks recently.

NLFT source  said, “We do want peace here at the state and we are on a move to the central govt. to fulfill our demands”. He also said that they would not surrender but would maintain peace here at the state.Members of Tripura’s two militant groups - NLFT and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) - shelter and avail arms training in Bangladesh, which shares 856-km border with Tripura. Both outfits, banned in 1997, have set up bases in Bangladesh and get support from other separatist groups of northeast India. 

They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India. As most of the ATTF cadres have surrendered in Tripura, the outlawed outfit is almost non-existent now.

NLFT, which was formed in 1989 with a pledge to fight for a separate tribal homeland, became crippled after three of its factions surrendered under separate arrangements with the central government since year 2000. It’s banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967, and police had framed sedition and serious criminal charges against its top leaders and many cadres for unleashing bloody campaign against troops and non-tribal population. They ruled out possibility of any major bounty to the NLFT except a beneficial rehabilitation package to leaders and cadres mainly based in camps at Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylet region of Bangladesh. The group is also under tremendous pressure in Bangladesh owing to frequent combing and search operations by security forces across the border.

The State Government, on November 29, 2014, decided to extend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) - 1958 for another six months. AFSPA was first enforced in Tripura in 1997, when terrorism was at its peak. In view of the improvement in the situation and the lessening of terrorist activities, the Tripura Government had, in June 2013, reviewed its application and reduced the operational areas of the Act to 30 Police Station areas, from the earlier 40.

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