People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 20

May 15, 2011




Kim Davy’s Revelation Confirms Congress’s 1988 Ploy


Haripada Das


THE mastermind of Purulia (West Bengal) arms drop case, Kim Davy, has also recently made to an electronic channel an amazing confession that exposes the criminal abetment of the then central government at the centre. According to Davy, the dropping of arms consignment in the darkness of the night on December 17, 1995 took place in full knowledge of the central government and that it was allowed with the aim to dethrone the then Left Front government led by Jyoti Basu. But Davy’s startling confession also refers to Tripura, which says, “You must remember that we are talking ancient history here, but in 1988 the Centre introduced President’s Rule in Tripura after engaging in supplying arms to different revel groups there.”


It is imperative to let the countrymen know what a hateful step the central government resorted to in order to oust the Left Front  government, led by the late Comrade Nripen Chakraborty, in the tiny state of Tripura, situated in North Eastern region. From the pre-poll eventualities and post-poll revelations, anybody can surmise the deep rooted conspiracy that was hatched up by using the highest office of the central government, flouting all the legal and moral norms of the land, in order to unseat the Left Front government by hijacking the popular mandate.




Since 1983, under the command of Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) had been carrying out most ravaging attacks from its base camp in Bangladesh territory, with the slogan of an “Independent Tripura.” The TNV terrorists perpetuated utter lawlessness through a series of attacks, leaving trails of ghastly events, like mass killing of innocent people, throwing infants into burning houses, arson of villages, selective killing of the Bengalis after dragging the passengers down from vehicles, mass extortions etc, throughout the state. They targeted mainly the non-tribal people residing in mixed populated areas. This heinous tactic was aimed at destroying the ethnic amity between tribals and non-tribals which is the bedrock of the Left Front government. Maintaining ethnic amity in the face of numerous provocative attacks and carnages was the foremost challenge before the Left Front government.


As it had only limited security forces at its disposal, the state government kept frantically urging the central government for deployment of sufficient paramilitary forces for combating the TNV extremists, and sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border which was extremely porous at that time. But with its own ulterior motive, the central government hardly paid any heed to the urgings of the state government. It was at such a juncture that general elections to the state assembly were fixed for February 2, 1988.  


Immediately after the declaration of elections, several central ministers including Santosh Mohan Deb, the then telecommunication minister, began to camp at Agartala and directly or indirectly interfere in the state government’s affairs, in favour of the Congress.   


Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister, visited Tripura twice --- first on November 28, 1987, accompanied by Mizoram chief minister Lalthanhawala and later towards the end of the polling campaign on January 28-29, 1988. Coinciding with it, just before his second visit to the state, the TNV resorted to indiscriminate mass killings, surpassing all the preceding massacres in respect of the number of casualties as well as in barbarism. Within a week from January 25 to 31, the TNV extremists butchered no less than 91 people including infants, children, women and the aged in 14 cowardly attacks in selective places, in order to incite anti-Left passions in various subdivisions of the state. The main thrust of Rajiv Gandhi’s speech now was that the Left Front government had utterly failed to provide security of life and property to the people. “I assure, if Congress is voted to power, they will protect you,” he added.


Surprisingly, on January 29 morning, the prime minister informed the press about an incident of mass killing at Mechuria in Kamalpur subdivision --- even before it actually took place. In fact, the killing took place within an hour of his announcement, as if on a clue. Rajiv Gandhi went back to Delhi on January 29 evening and unilaterally declared entire Tripura as a “Disturbed Area.” (No president’s rule was imposed, contrary to what the statement of Kim Davy mentioned.) Then, on that very night, the army paraded  along the roads Agartala town where not a single TNV attack had taken place. This put for a while the state’s electorate in a fix about whom to vote.


The Congress utilised this situation very carefully. At Gabordi in Sadar subdivision (West Tripura), 11 Congress persons were killed in an attack on January 30 night. The Congress preserved all the dead bodies till February 2, the polling day, cremated them in front of the Gabordi School polling station, and compelled the voters who turned up to take an oath in the name of the martyrs. The polling ended in an atmosphere of pain and panic.


In spite of all such heinous tricks, the Congress could not have obtained a majority if it had not forcibly occupied several counting halls, with the blessings of central ministers, in order to rig the results. In Majlishpur assembly constituency in Sadar, the Left Front candidate Manik Dey took a lead in the final tally, and the returning officer (RO) rejected the Congress candidate’s appeal for recounting. The result was announced and Manik Dey was declared elected from this constituency. But the Congress candidate pressed for recounting, and the RO referred it to the chief election commissioner for a decision. The commissioner categorically told the RO, mentioning the provisions of the Election Conduct Rule, that at that stage no petition for recounting could be entertained. But the central ministers camping at Agartala interfered to suppress the commission’s message and the RO was forced to order recounting under duress. Thus a victorious Manik Dey was made to lose the election. The Congress resorted to similar highhandedness in some other seats as well, with the help of the central ministers camping in the state at that time.




Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl and his followers surrendered to the resultant Congress-TUJS coalition government on August 12, 1988. Hrangkhawl was flown to New Delhi from the remote jungle of Gobindabari in the Longthorai Valley subdivision and was given a warm reception as chief guest at the Independence Day function that year, at the Red Fort in New Delhi. When asked by the press about the mass killings committed by the TNV, Hrangkhawl plainly admitted that his boys had carried out some incidents, but denied any role in a few other 2/3 incidents including that of Gabordi. These, he said, had nothing to do with the TNV.


The dark character of the entire episode came to light on August 22, 1988, when Zoeng, an Aizwal based biweekly, published three instances of correspondence between Rajiv Gandhi, Mizoram chief minister Lalthanhawala and TNV supremo Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl regarding the surrender deal. It was Lalthanhawala who made these letters published in order to take the credit for the TNV’s surrender, claiming himself to be the key man in the entire negotiation. The letters are reproduced below:


Hrangkhawl’s letter to Lalthanhawala, October 27, 1987:

I am glad to have received your kind reply of dated 17th October, ’87. So it is my second letter to you. I am sending two persons as my official representatives alongwith two letters; one is for you and another is for the Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi.


My representatives, bearer of this letter, shall be under your safe protection until and unless a positive reply on this regard has been received from Mr Gandhi.


I wish they would not face any problem on security matter. So as long as they are there inside Mizoram, you would be fully responsible on their security.


Lastly, I have also authorised them that, if necessary, on any preliminary agreement to two of my points (written in the letter to the Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi) could be executed by them. And any communication should be in written.


Thanking you


Hrangkhawl’s letter to Rajiv Gandhi through Lalthanhawala, October 27,1987:

Honourable Prime Minister,


For national and greater interests, I have felt that immediately we should sit together and solve our problems.


So within very short future I want to receive your written reply on this regard. And my first contact is Mr Lalthanhawala, the Congress(I) leader of Mizoram. I have enough confidence on him to immediately link us, so that without any hindrance on the red tape, things are done.


If delayed and neglected, then it would be on your responsibility to explain the reason. Moreover, on security ground it shall not be possible for me to send out representatives out of my reach time to time.


Therefore, I would acknowledge that Tripura is an integral part of India and commit to solve all problems within the framework of Indian Constitution and the condition that before any negotiation is resumed, you shall have to:


Immediately dissolve CPI(M)-led Ministry of Tripura , and


Declare of ceasefire on both sides


Thanking you.


Lalthanhawala, envoy of the prime minister, wrote to on December 6, 1987:

I have received your letter of 27th October together with the letter for Shri Rajiv Gandhi and thank you for the same.


I immediately rushed to New Delhi and met the Prime Minister. In fact we went together to Tripura on 28th November and returned to New Delhi the same day. As I have written to you, New Delhi welcomes settlement of any problem within the Constitution through peaceful manner. Of course, it has to be with mutual trust and confidence with a spirit of reconciliation. However, New Delhi is not in a position to take immediate initiative because elections to the Legislative Assembly of Tripura has been announced for 2nd February and the time at the disposal of New Delhi is too short now. On top of this our party is not in power in Tripura, which make the situation more difficult for the centre.


It is therefore felt that the atmosphere is not ripe for starting a dialogue till the election is over. However, I can assure you, from what I could gather from my discussion with Shri Rajiv Gandhi and Shri Buta Singh, that they are keen for a peaceful settlement of the problem and that they will take initiative for starting dialogue after the election, whether we come to power or not. 


With regards




Sudhir Ranjan Majumder, leader of Opposition in the Tripura legislative assembly and president of the Tripura Congress Committee, wrote on December 21, 1987, the following letter, on his MLA’s pad, to Hrangkhawl who was then at Singlung in Bangladesh.


Dear friend Bijoy Kr. Hrangkhawl,


I think you had received my letter which I wrote to you on 13.12.87. Doing action at Ompi (Taidu) I think you have accept my all conditions. So I now request you, you please terrorise and continue mass killing of innocent persons particularly women and children of North and South Tripura. If you do so then the forthcoming Assembly Election will be pospond and the Presidential rule will be imposed automatically by which we can easily thrown out the Left Front  govt  from Tripura. If you help us in this way, I assure you I will help you to join in our govt. like Mizoram. I had a long discussion about this issue with Sri Santosh Mohan Deb, the Minister of State for Communication. I write this letter to you by his suggestion. It is Santoshda’s duty to convince our Prime Minister. You please write a letter politely to the Prime Minister about your won thinkings.


Moreover, you please send 100 nobs. Revolver and 5 nobs SLR for my workers with my massanger Sri Anil Chakma.

With revolutionary greetings.                  (MLA’s Seal)


[Spelling and grammar are as in the original letter --- Ed.]


The above correspondence establishes that till the surrender was accomplished, Rajiv Gandhi never disclosed the surrender proposal to the state government which had issued a standing call to all the misguided tribal youths to surrender. It had also assured them that, if necessary, it would negotiate with the central government on this issue.


Secondly, it is evident that B K Hrangkhawl wanted to come to the negotiation table as early as in October 1987. Thus, long before the Assembly election which was held in February 2, 1988, Rajiv Gandhi had had ample time to pursue the deal, if only he wanted to pursue it. Instead, for his narrow partisan interest, he deferred the deal till the assembly election were over.


Thirdly, while deferring the deal, Rajiv Gandhi made a signal to the TNV to intensify its campaign of horrific deeds that it had been carrying out for the preceding few years. The aim was to remove the Left Front government which was a common enemy of both the Congress and the TNV. The abrupt rage of attacks resulting in 91 casualties and gutting down of about a hundred houses, just in one week before the polls, established that the Congress manipulators and the TNV terrorists were aiding each other.    


Fourthly, from the above correspondence, it transpires that Congress leaders maintained regular links with Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, supremo of the banned secessionist TNV, only to drag down the Left Front government through foul play.


Lastly, maintaining its nexus with an anti-national secessionist outfit, the Congress party and its government at the centre threw to the winds the very ideals of the Indian constitution, norm of federalism, democratic ethos and ethics, and the lofty ideas of the people’s sovereignty, harmony and unity. They did all this with just one aim --- to overthrow the Left Front government which was bearing the torch of alternative policies to the capitalist path of development.


Thus, the above details provide sufficient corroboration to what Kim Davy has exposed regarding the supply of arms to the Tripura extremists prior to the 1988 assembly elections.