30 July, 2021

Ethnic Flashpoint

Tribal militants warn non-tribals—leave the state or face death

Ethnic Flashpoint

THE Tripura government is under siege again—the insurgent All-Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) has served a notice to all non-tribals to leave the state by July 10 or face death. For a state reeling under militancy of various hues, this is not an extraordinary situation but the police are gearing up for an emergency. Says one police officer: "At one level, the notice is absurd because 75 per cent of the state's 28,00,000 population is non-tribal. But we cannot take any chances in view of the escalated ATTF activities this year."

The border state has witnessed violent tribal versus non-tribal (read Bengali settlers) clashes over the past few years—it accounted for around 3,000 lives in June 1980. As always, this latest militant threat has divided the various political parties. The Opposition, barring the Congress, has lashed out against the Left government for taking things too seriously. "Some people in west Tripura have even started leaving their lands because of the extremists' threat—official measures and announcements...

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