Tripura: Strength of NLFT cadres saw a drastic fall, financial crunch hits insurgent outfit
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Banned militant outfit National Liberation Front of Tripura is on its last legs as it faces several challenges on multiple fronts, a source in Assam Rifles told EastMojo in an exclusive conversation. 

Shrinking finances, lack of support among inhabitants and multi-layer security arrangements in areas susceptible to militancy threats posed a tough challenge for the ultras to continue with the armed rebellion, the source told EastMojo.

“There are two factions of the NLFT; the big group, with around 40 rebels, is the Biswa Mohan faction, more popularly known as NLFT (BM). The other group is NLFT (PD) or the Parimal Debbarma faction, which has around 15 to 20 cadres. Parimal Debbarma, the self-styled leader of the PD faction, was arrested last year in Mizoram. The trial against him is underway in Khowai district court”, the source said. 

When asked about their revival chances, the source said, “The main source of finance for militant activities was extortion. The reign of terror that these insurgent groups once let loose in the hilly areas prompted people to concede to the demands of militant groups. But now the situation has changed. All major market areas are surrounded by security establishments like police stations, or camps of paramilitary forces like Assam Rifles, TSR, CRPF or BSF. The fear of getting abducted has already ended among the local communitieswhich is why extortion notices fail to elicit any response from targets.”

The present strength of cadres is even less than 10 per cent of the total armed men it had when the insurgency was at its peak in Tripura. 

“We have been tracking the movements of insurgent groups, and our sources keep contacting them to convince them. We want all cadres to come over ground and lead a peaceful life. Many of these militants have their wives, and children at home. And, in recent times, several people laid down arms and ammunition to join the mainstream life in front of Assam Rifle troopers,” the source pointed out.

The sources also informed EastMojo that apart from funds, the NLFT groups are also running short of arms and ammunition. “This is a fact that some top leaders of these groups try to ratchet up the activities by conducting fresh recruitment drives. But today’s youth, even if they fall in their trap, distance themselves from the illegal activities when they get to know about the dubious intentions of militant groups.”

The NLFT is one of the principal militant groups of Agartala that had launched an armed revolt against the state with the call of the sovereign Tripuri state. This group is responsible for numerous killings, kidnappings and ambushes on security forces.    

Also Read | Tripura: Protesting teachers face police action, 45 detained

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