Tripura Timeline 2018



January 8

In the run upto State Assembly elections NLFT claimed that allegations that they have pledged support to IPFT was baseless. The NLFT 'president' D. Yamrok stated that NLFT would not support any political party in election.

January 11

Amra Bangali (We the Bengali) announced its decision to contest the coming Assembly elections in Tripura. The party held a rally in Agartala (West Tripura District) to protest against what it called the atrocities on 'indigenous Bengali people in Assam' and condemned attempts to create separate 'Tipraland'.

January 12

UMHA will send 300 companies of CAPF's for the Assembly elections in February. The CAPF contingent will comprise of BSF, CRPF and ITBP. The first lot comprising 25 companies of CAPF arrived on January 12 while 50 more companies will reach Tripura by January 20. Additionally 12 battalions of TSR will also be available for election duties.

The state already has over 35,000 security force personnel comprising BSF, CRPF and TSR. During the last Assembly elections in February 2013, around 20,000 CAPF personnel were deployed.

January 14

Six teenaged Rohingya Muslims have been arrested in Tripura's Dharmanagar in North Tripura District, bordering Assam. Tripura Police stated that the youngsters, all from Myanmar and aged around 18 years, entered Tripura from Bangladesh on January 12 and were trying to go Hyderabad by train.

January 16

A senior intelligence officer stated that NLFT has around 13-15 hideouts in Bangladesh. The camps exist in various areas such as Khagracherri, Bandarban and Segunbagan in CHT.

Additionally the cadre strength of NLFT is estimated at about 60-70 militants with its 'army chief' Sachin Debbarma, a former ATTF militant.

The intelligence official also added that NLFT leadership is in such a pathetic condition, that they will not be able to play any role during the Assembly elections. Another official confirmed the fragile condition of the outfit saying that the BGB has already established some BOPs in CHT.

January 25

An NLFT militant identified as Uttam Debbarma alias Uphil surrendered at Dhalai District. He surrendered with an automatic rifle.

February 4

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on February 4 stated that militant activities in northeast India have been checked due to Bangladesh's great help and support. The Minister stated that 'Bangladesh's immense help and support facilitated India to tame the terrorist activities in northeastern states. Our relation with Bangladesh now at best place'.

February 8

An individual identified as Naresh Chakma , was arrested with three .22 caliber pistols and 500 rounds of live ammunition at the railway station in the Badharghat area of Agartala in West Tripura District. According to authorities, the arrested individual stated that he was about to sell the weapons across the border in Bangladesh.

February 10

MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated that GoI has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The new surrender scheme will come into effect from April 2018. The monthly allowance would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000 which was earlier INR 1, 50,000.

February 14

CM Manik Sarkar stated that NLFT was active in Tripura and Bangladesh. He also alleged that IPFT was the fašade of the NLFT. IPFT has been demanding Twipraland, a separate state for indigenous communities

February 15

Three crude bombs were recovered from Uttarpara area in West Tripura District hours before the arrival of Prime Minister of India. A BJP leader stated that CPIM were behind the incident. The state Assembly polls are scheduled for Feb 18.

February 19 UMHA report also stated that militancy in the Northeast is on the decline. According to the report, the seven states in the northeast registered 308 militancy-related cases last year, down from 484 in 2016. In 2015, there were 574 insurgency-related cases reported while the year before that registered a staggering 824 such incidents. Tripura and Mizoram emerged as the most peaceful states in the region.
February 22

The CAPF has started deploying across the state to prevent post poll violence. The forces comprising of CRPF, BSF, CISF, personnel will perform duty during the counting process in twenty centers across the state on March 3. According to IG law and Order ''There will be 60 companies of CRPF for area domination purpose after counting of polled EVMs to prevent any kind of violence or intimidation'. Moreover, there will be twelve battalions of Tripura State Rifles to assist the central forces in maintaining law and order after the counting process.'

February 23

In an effort to resolve the long standing Bru refugee crisis in Tripura, UMHA Special Secretary for Internal Security Mahesh Kumar Singla arrived in Tripura. Officials stated that MHA envoy would join discussions with District Collectors and SPs from three Districts of Mizoram at BSF's sector headquarters at Panisagar in North Tripura.

With less than two weeks to go for counting of ballots Tripura Government has started deploying CAPFs to prevent post-poll violence. IG Law and Order stated that 'There will be 60 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for area domination purpose after counting of polled Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) to prevent any kind of violence'.

March 16

Three-member delegation of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA), comprising Special Secretary for Internal Security Rina Mitra, adviser (Northeast) on Bru repatriation Mahesh Kumar Singla and Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg, met the refugee leaders in Agartala. For the last 21 years, over 35,000 Reang refugees have been staying in six camps at Kanchanpur in North Tripura district.

March 17

MBDP apex body of displaced Bru tribals, on March 17 warned of a "democratic movement" against the Centre's "harsh decision" to close down all Reang refugee relief camps and stop ration through PDS.

March 19

Joint Secretary of UMHA Mahesh Kumar Singla stated that rehabilitation of Bru Refugees in Tripura to Mizoram has been halted. When asked about the rehabilitation of the Reang refugees who have came from Mizoram and are living a life of refugees for the past 20 years at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions, the Secretary stated that 'The Reang refugees do not wants to go to Mizoram as they don't get land "patta" out there in Mizoram which the indigenous people of Tripura get. Moreover they have demanded 2 acre of land for each family for going 'back to Mizoram which the Mizoram government has clearly rejected'. He also added that 'The Central Government has announced a package of 147 cr. for their rehabilitation program from which the Mizoram Government have already received 7.90 cr. But it won't be wrong to say that the program is on halt and needs to bring on board all the stakeholders and we are working on it.

IPFT leaders joined a rally in New Delhi organised by the NFNS seeking new states. Failing this, the federation has threatened to launch a united political front before the 2019. Youth IPFT leader Shuklacharan Noatia stated that 'Twipraland is a political demand and so are all others. The protest was successful'. The ABSU president Promod Boro stated that that if the BJP-led government did not fulfil their separate state demands, the NFNS would form a political front before the 2019 elections.

March 20

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 20 assured Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb that he would sanction two additional IRBN. Tripura currently has got 12 battalions of TSR the state's own armed police wing. The two IR battalions sanctioned for Tripura would generate direct employment for about 2,200 youths.

Tripura Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma, discussed border fencing, maintenance of border roads, apart from other security issues, with the home minister Rajnath Singh also assured Deb that he would consider the feasibility of installing CCTV cameras on the border fence with Bangladesh on the Tripura frontiers and set up a central control and monitoring room to prevent any illegal activities on the border

March 21

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju that new rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants in the Northeast with almost doubled stipend will come into force from April. The monthly stipend for a surrendered militant has been revised from INR 3,500 to INR 6,000 and the one-time grant from INR 1,50,000 to INR 4,00,000.

More incentives have been added for the weapons surrendered. A surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme for the Northeast militants is in force since April 1998. Many, however, said the stipend offered under the scheme needed revision as cadres of many outfits were resorting to crimes like extortion as the amount offered by the government had not been revised for years. An official statement said 'A surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme for the Northeast militants is in force since April 1998. Many, however, said the stipend offered under the scheme needed revision as cadres of many outfits were resorting to crimes like extortion as the amount offered by the government had not been revised for years'.

The statement also said that Assam has spend about INR 75 million for militant rehabilitation while Manipur spend INR 11.9 million and Tripura 11.8 million Militants who have signed cease fire agreements have demanded that the stipend be increased to cater to rising prices and prevent youths from returning to militancy. Number of surrendered militants in north east has reduced from 1,195 in 2012 to 130 in 2017. The statement said at least 640 militants surrendered in 2013, followed by 965 in 2014, 143 in 2015, 267 in 2016 and three till February 2018.

UMHA is planning to create a separate Central fund for security related provisions and even for constructing the requisite police infrastructure and to get their forces trained to handle the local crime situation. A source in UMHA added that 'We will also give them training with weapons and intelligence gathering'. He also added that 'Local crime must be handled and citizens must engage with the local police for their grievances. Not only it infuses a sense of normalcy, the local police also get engaged in vital intelligence gathering to aid security forces. It gets further teeth to handle criminals and miscreants to ensure 'business as usual', eventually leading to big infrastructure projects, roads and connectivity networks and crime-free inter region passage to boost tourism'.

According to government sources, 'The MHA feels that the para-military and other special forces deployed in the region can be engaged exclusively in intelligence gathering against terror modules, patrolling the borders and for special operations other than local crime and maintaining law and order in North Eastern States'.

According to sources in government the idea to engage the local police is encouraged by its recent experiences in Manipur and Assam. A source stated that 'In Manipur, the abductions have come down drastically since we started engaging the local police to handle it. In Assam too, the violent incidents have come down and we're now laying our focus on other States like Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland to tackle crimes of cross-border infiltration as the para-forces can check on the borders, but those who still sneak in can only be identified and caught with local intelligence gathered by State cops'

April 19

18 Rohingya refugees, en route to Delhi in search of jobs, were arrested from Teliamura in Khowai District. Khowai Superintendent of Police (SP) stated that 11 men, three women and four children were detained after the Guwahati-bound bus they were travelling in was raided following a tip-off. Tripura shares an 856km border with Bangladesh.

According to the police, Rohingya refugees use the neighboring country as a corridor to enter India. On January 14 this year, six Rohingya refugees were arrested from Dharmanagar railway station in North Tripura and eight others were arrested from the Khayerpur market area in West Tripura district, on November 29, 2017.

April 23

GoI has revised the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy of militants in the northeastern states with effect from April 1. The grant for surrendered militants has been raised to INR 4,00,000 from INR 1,00,000 and the monthly stipend to INR 6,000 from INR 3,500 for three years.

According to UMHA official, revised policy also includes provisions for vocational training, funds for construction of rehabilitation camps and compulsory Aadhaar biometric registration of surrenderees. The surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy in the Northeast has been implemented since 1998. Under the revised SRE in the region, ex gratia for civilians killed has been doubled to INR 1,00,000 and for Police personnel it has been increased to two million from INR 3,00,000. For Police personnel who suffer from permanent disability the ex gratia has been increased from INR 75,000 to INR 3,00,000.

Additionally, the salary for home guards has been increased from INR 4,500 to INR 6,000. Moreover, honorarium for village defence guards doubled to INR 3,000.

April 25

India has identified 120 vulnerable points along its 4,096km Indo-Bangladesh border and deployed additional BSF troopers to detect and push back Rohingya refugees if they try to enter the country. Unnamed Union Home Ministry sources said on April 25 said that the BSF, which has intensified patrol, has been told to only "push" the infiltrators back into Bangladesh and not arrest them so that they don't become a "liability".

May 15

Three-member team of NIA reached Tripura to interrogate 24 Bangladeshi youths who were arrested with forged documents in Agartala. Earlier, a separate team of the investigation agency led by superintendent of police Vivekananda Das questioned the arrested youths, who were suspected to have terror links.

Insurgency-related incidents in the Northeast dropped by 36 per cent in 2017, the lowest in 20 years. The annual report of the home ministry (2017-18) said such incidents decreased to 308 in 2017 compared to 484 in 2016 while Mizoram and Tripura reported no such incident in 2017

May 21

An analysis of the call records of 24 Bangladeshi youths arrested in Tripura has revealed that they were in regular touch with ISI of Pakistan. An official source said examination of the call records of the youths' mobile phones had confirmed that they were in touch with ISI operatives based in Kashmir and Pakistan.

The official also added that it is being investigated how the youths came into contact with the ISI agents and for what purpose. It is suspected that the ISI might be trying to tap them for carrying out anti-India activities. The accused, aged between 20 and 30 years, had entered India through Petrapole border checkpoint in Bengal. They claimed to be students of madarsas in the Deoband area of Uttar Pradesh. Tripura police had recovered fake Aadhaar cards from them and investigations revealed that the cards were morphed at a shop in Deoband.

May 24

NSCN-IM had issued a circular demanding 'house tax' from the Zeme Naga residents of Dima Hasao District. NSCN-IM circular, signed by Keyinzang Ndang, the 'secretary' of the Asalu Zeliangrong region, on May 24 warned all chairmen of wards/villages of the region to submit the "tax" to its office at Jalukie in Nagaland on or before June 25.

May 29

UMHA has formulated has introduced a new surrender policy to lure away militants from joining militancy in North east region. The policy has proposed a fixed deposit of INR 4,00,000 and monthly stipend of INR6,000 to those who surrendered and an extra incentive for those with weapons. Stipend would be paid in the bank account and fixed deposit would be handed over to the surrendered militant only after sighing of the memorandum of settlement (MoS) with respective militant outfits. UMHA also clarified that if surrendered militant is found to have been indulging in any criminal activities before the signing of MoU, the surrendered militant will forfeit his fixed deposit. Earlier surrender militants were given a stipend of INR 3,000 and one time grant of INR 3,00,000. UMHA has also decided to send the militants, seeking to surrender without arms, to the State level screening committee which will take a decision on accepting or rejecting the surrender. Informing that there are nearly 3,500 surrendered militants who will be benefited by new surrender policy in Assam, security sources said that a 12-member group of Kuki militant outfit has also come forward to surrender with six AK series rifles.

June 3

Three CRPF personnel were injured when miscreants pelted stone at a CRPF camp located in the Mawlai Bridge area of Shillong in East Khasi Hills District on the night. CRPF IG Prakash D said there was heavy stone pelting by the miscreants and CRPF personnel restrained. The security personnel had to use tear gas shells to quell the mob and when CRPF outnumbered the miscreant, they ran away.

50 fish traders engaged mainly by pond owners in the Umsning area in Ri Bhoi District left for their hometown in West Bengal. Shillong-bound vehicles are only allowed entry after clearance from the Special Branch of the State Police.

The Army on June 4 conducted two flag marches (first at 4.30 pm and later at 10:30 pm) under the command of Lieutenant General DS Ahuja, GOC 101 Area, reports The Shillong Times. Two columns of fully armed troops in vehicles were deployed during the flag march to bring the situation under control. The flag march passed through Lumdiengjri, Motphran, Punjabi Lane (Them Lew Mawlong) and Rhino point.

Unidentified miscreants unsuccessfully tried to set ablaze a Fuel station near KC Secondary School, Laitumkhrah locality in Shillong city in East Khasi Hills District

Further, three masked miscreants assaulted the staff of Umtrew Petrol Pump, Ramayan Choudhury, in Ri Bhoi District.

June 4

Over 100 protesters (many were wearing mask) entered the premises of the Main Secretariat premises in Shillong after breaking the lock of the entrance gate and shouted slogans. DGP Swaraj Bir Singh explain the prevailing condition as, "The situation is very tense in those areas (tension-hit areas)." An unnamed Government official said that around 10 companies of paramilitary forces have been sent to Meghalaya. Curfew was reemployed in Shillong.

The State Government decided to constitute a high-level committee to look into shifting of settlers from Them Lew Mawlong here, an issue that has been lingering for decades. The high-level committee will be headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong. The others are Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling, Health Minister A.L. Hek, Home Minister James K. Sangma, Sports Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, P.N. Syiem, besides Commissioner and Secretary D.P. Wahlang as Member Secretary of the committee.

State Police have identified seven sensitive districts where trouble could break out after publication of the final draft of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) on June 30. An unidentified official source said according to an assessment done by the Police, Goalpara, Dhubri, Barpeta, Kamrup Darrang, Morigaon and Hojai have been found to be sensitive and Police are taking all measures to ensure peace in these Districts.

June 5

One Assam Rifles jawan was seriously injured another officer suffered minor injuries when suspected militants attacked a Assam Rifles outpost at Lampong Shanghah village in Mon district. The injured troopers included an Army major, on deputation to Assam Rifles, and a rifleman identified as Modak. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

After five days of violence and stone pelting, the situation has improved to a great extent with no major reports of any fresh clash or violence in the City. East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Davis N.R. Marak told The Telegraph on June 5 that there had been no untoward incident in any part of the district. He said ever since the protests started, more than 40 people were arrested and over 100 Policemen injured.

June 6

State Government employees took out a march in Guwahati demanding the Centre to scrap the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The state government employees and AASU, under the banner of the Sodou Assam Karmachari Parishad, marched to Raj Bhavan (Governor's House), protesting against the bill that has evoked widespread protests in the state. The bill, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to certain religious communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been alleged to be a move to legitimize the Bangladeshi Hindus who entered Assam after 1971 illegally.

The State Cabinet will oppose any amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 that goes against the interests of the Nagas and take up any such issues with the Centre. The cabinet discussed the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at a meeting in Kohima, pointing out that Nagaland is protected under Article 371(A) of the Constitution and the ILP regulations.

Twenty apex Naga tribal organisations along with gaon burhas (village headman) of Nagaland have urged the working committee of the Naga national political groups (NNPGs) to reconsider their decision to suspend negotiations with the Centre in the larger interest of the people.

June 7

The Dibrugarh unit of the AASU, along with 28 other organisations, took out a rally in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The Assam Police is keeping a close vigil on the social media outlets ahead of the publication of the complete draft NRC on June 30. DGP Kuladhar Saikia said, "Strict monitoring is already on to check any untoward comments that might jeopardize the security, peace and tranquility of the society. Once any such activity is traced, swift action will be taken to track down the person, and action will be taken as per law." The police has already tracked a number of accounts in the social media that are unnaturally active vis-Ó-vis the NRC update exercise.

June 10

The Union Government is keen on early completion of the talks with the ULFA and two factions of the NDFB.

Suspected ULFA-I militants abducted, Dinanath Upadhyaya, the supervisor of a private tea estate from Jagun in Tinsukia District. Sources said Upadhyaya was recently served with an extortion note by ULFA-I for an undisclosed sum but he reportedly declined to pay. Security Forces arrested ULFA-I linkman Babu Basumatary alias Hemkanta in connection with the incident.

June 11

Acknowledging the appeal of the apex tribal bodies and Gaon Buddas (village headman) of Nagaland, the WC of the NNPGs has decided to resume the negotiation process with the Government of India at the earliest. The tentative date for negotiations was fixed for June 7. NNPGs WC media cell in a press note said that the committee has decided to begin the next round of talks in New Delhi.

June 12

Police has initiated action against around 100 profiles on Facebook and Twitter, which 'threatened' to affect peace and tranquility in the State. Further, Police has booked 35 persons so far from across the State in the last three days for spreading hate messages through social media platforms.

Police arrested eight youths, including five for allegedly recording June 8 lynching in Karbi Anglong District and later sharing it on social media. With these latest arrest the total arrests in the case has to 26.

Lawyers staged demonstrations across the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The All Assam Lawyers' Association and affiliated units staged sit-ins at the district and sub-divisional headquarters in the state from 1pm to 2pm and sent letters to the prime minister and the joint committee on the bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, headed by Meerut Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Rajendra Agrawal through the respective district administrations.

ENPO has reaffirmed the resolution on the demand for 'Frontier Nagaland State' adopted at Tuensang Headquarters on May 25, 2007. ENPO said the resolution was unanimously reaffirmed at the special general session cum felicitation programme in honour of 20 elected members held at town hall, Tuensang.

June 13

During an extensive search operation two powerful mortars along with rocket propelled grenades and a launcher are among a large cache of weapons recovered from the forests of Dorengkigre village across the Simsang river in Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District. "We had information from reliable sources about the hidden weapons in the forests of Dorengkigre village and we launched a search which led to the recovery of a large number of weapons," said Superintendent of Police RTG Momin. These ammunitions belonged to now defunct militant group GNLA.

NSCN-IM has strongly refuted the reports published by some media houses, that it was responsible for banning Star Cement in Nagaland.

The NIA will take over the investigation into the extortion activities carried out by NSCN-K the militants in West Jaintia Hills District.

June 14

DGP Kuladhar Saikia, has ruled out any intelligence report regarding religious fundamental forces preparing an evil design to create a law-and-order situation following the publication of the second and final draft list of National Register for Citizens(NRC) by the end of this month. He was talking to the media immediately after a high-level review meeting on the security scenario of the ongoing NRC update process as well as the post-draft publication for the three northern Assam districts, namely, Darrang, Udalguri and Sonitpur at Mangaldai.

June 15

WC of NNPGs has clarified that established business houses operating for years in local entrepreneurs' names will no longer be exempted from 'taxation'. Taxation is a euphemism to extortion carried out by militants. WC alleged that a large numbers of "non-local entrepreneurs" continue to operate in the name of indigenous Nagas, which has adversely affected the prospects of genuine Naga youths from succeeding.

June 16

The UNC has called a 12-hour bandh (general shutdown strike) along the National Highways and District Highways in the "Naga areas" of Manipur on June 18 in support of its demand for early settlement of the Naga political issue. The UNC said the bandh would come into effect from 6 am on June 18. It said that the media, water supply, medical service and SFs would be exempted from the purview of the bandh.

June 17

At least three security personnel were killed and around six injured in an ambush near Tenyak River, about two kilometres away from Aboi town under Mon District. The deceased have been identified as one Hawaldar Fateh Singh, Rifleman Sachin Kumar both belonged to Assam Rifles and Hongnga Konyak belonging to the 164 (Naga) Battalion of Territorial Army. NSCN-K claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was "a series of on-going 'Summer Offensives' to sanitise the land against the illegal deployment of occupational Indian forces and to rein in their illegal activities, provocative movements there by wrecking havoc, perpetrating terror and disturbances of peace and tranquility in the Naga country." United ULFA-I has claimed that it was part of the ambush along with NSCN-K.

ULFA-I's Facebook page named Swadhin Asom has received hundreds of Likes and a few citizens have also shared their mobile numbers on the page, expressing their desire to join the outfit prompting Police to register a case. "We have registered a case against the outfit," ADGP- SB Pallab Bhattacharya said.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.