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May 15, 2011

Page: 21/40

Home > 2011 Issues > May 15, 2011

A perspective on Tripura counter-insurgency
By Manju Gupta
Tripura’s Bravehearts: A Police Success Story of Counterinsurgency, BL Vohra, Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd, Pp 247, Rs 595.00

BESIDES informing the reader about his experiences in Manipur and Tripura, the author provides quite a comprehensive perspective on the historical developments which led to insurgency in the otherwise peaceful kingdom of Tripura and how the state government and the police tackled the same. He, after retiring as Director General of Tripura Police, has written this book to show how the local police in Tripura attained success in the counter-insurgency operations, beginning in the year 2000. He is of the view that no outside force can tackle such a serious problem and only an effort by the local police can bring successful results.

This small state in the northeast of India was one of the most violent, having an average of 36.7 per cent of insurgency-led crime in the period 1998-2000 as against the national average of 13.5 per cent, according to the figures published by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). In the insurgency that lasted for more than two decades since the late 1970s, thousands of innocent Hindu Bengalis and local Vanvasis lost their lives. The situation had gone out of control but from 2000 onwards, the local police, supported politically by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the bureaucracy, set out to defeat the insurgents decisively.

The author attributes part of the success of counterinsurgency to the setting up of the counterinsurgency training school in Tripura nine years ago. Secondly, though a lot has been written about counterinsurgency in the northeast, with each state having its own unique story of insurgency, this book narrates the story of the effort put in by Tripura. Thirdly, the story of Tripura state is unique as it protrudes into Bangladesh, a strange geographical location. Fourthly, the change in the demographic profile of the state has been “not because of the migration of Muslims from Bangladesh but of Hindus from that country.” Additionally the author tries to tell that Tripura played a very important role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, due to its geographical location. Many leaders and activists of the liberation struggle took shelter in several areas of Tripura through local support. But today, Tripura’s geographical protrusion into Bangladesh has made it a hotbed for insurgents of northeast to walk over and return to and from Bangladesh with support from the latter leading to all kinds of problems for India.

The author warns that the problems may re-emerge for which constant vigilance has to be maintained.

(Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd, 206, First Floor, Peacock Lane, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi – 110 049)

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