People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 06, 2012



Mobilise People for Tackling Insurgency


Below we publish the full text of the speech delivered by Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar at the Chief Ministers Conference on Internal Security held in New Delhi on April 16, 2012.


I WOULD like to thank the union home minister for convening this Conference on Internal Security. I am hopeful that deliberations in the conference would assist in devising strategies to contain various divisive forces that intend to disturb peace and harmony in our nation and threaten our unity and integrity. I would like to elaborate on the issues flagged for discussions today in the specific context of our state.




Our state has been suffering and badly affected due to insurgency problems for over last three decades. However, on account of all out concerted efforts made by the state government, assisted by the central government and supported by the active cooperation of our people, the situation has improved considerably in the last few years, as evident from the following facts:


Head of crime











Extremist incidents










Civilians killed










Civilians injured










SFs Killed










Persons kidnapped










Persons returned










No. of encounters










Extremists killed











Despite the remarkable improvement in the situation, we believe that there is no scope for complacency in dealing with insurgency. Continuous presence of five to six groups of heavily armed NLFT extremists, just outside the south-eastern and north-western borders, is a matter of concern. There are enough indications that these groups have plans to strike against security forces as well as construction/development agencies and common citizens for extortion. With a view to further improving the situation and creating an atmosphere of lasting peace in Tripura and its neighbouring areas, I would like to suggest the following:

(i)      The extremist organisations are mainly operating from across the border in Bangladesh. Details of locations of their camps and activities in Bangladesh have been shared. These are required to be taken up with the government of Bangladesh to take appropriate actions against the extremist leaders and the camps located inside the Bangladesh territory. Bangladesh government should be requested that the leaders and front ranking cadres of the extremist outfits of Tripura be handed over to the government of India and their bank accounts in Bangladesh be ceased from operation.


(ii)      Four battalions of CRPF deployed in the state have been withdrawn since August 2009. It is a matter of serious concern and therefore highly essential that they be redeployed in the state for continuing effective operations against the insurgents at the earliest.


(iii)     The India Reserve Battalions raised in the state have been playing a very significant role in containing insurgency. Now, on the request of union home ministry, some of the IR Battalions are being sent to perform election duties in different parts of the country. They were also called and deployed for maintaining law and order in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games. Keeping all these in mind, we have been pursuing with the ministry of home affairs for sanction of two more India Reserve Battalions. As the genesis of extremism in Tripura and other North Eastern states can be traced to the lack of development and unemployment particularly that of tribal youths and the development agencies face difficulties specially in border and interior areas, the proposed IR Battalions may be specialised IR Battalions. This will ensure that development activities, particularly construction of road, bridges, drinking water sources, schools, health centres etc are continued unhindered in such areas. Moreover, the existing nine IR Battalions may also be converted to specialised IR Battalions.


(iv)     As per the present practice, central government assistance is being provided on one-time basis for raising the IR Battalions and the state has to bear the recurring expenditure in full. Keeping in view the very small resource base and financial constraints faced by states like Tripura, the existing pattern of funding may be revised for North Eastern states so that recurring expenditure towards salary, etc. for the IR Battalions is met by the centre at least for a period of eight years on the pattern of specialised IR Battalions.


(vi)     The Special Police Officers (SPOs) deployed in the state to narrow down the gap between demand and required number of security personnel in the ground are playing a meaningful role, supporting the state and central para military forces in containing insurgency. We have posted 3550 SPOs who are being paid by the state government at the rate Rs 3500 per month. The assistance from central government is only Rs 1500 per month for 1400 SPOs. I would request that the honorarium paid to the SPOs may be reimbursed in full.




It has been possible to contain the insurgency in Tripura because of the dedicated work of state police force with the help of central forces and support from common masses. It should be realised that such an exercise cannot be done by central agencies alone through unilateral action. In this regard, I am pained to point out that in the recent past the union home ministry has taken several steps which have serious implication for the federal structure of the country and encroach upon the rights of the states. The notification of National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), proposed amendments to RPF Act and BSF Act have caused serious apprehension among states. It is no surprise that so many state governments have expressed their concern on the tendency of the central government to take actions in breach of federalism, which pervades throughout our constitutional scheme. As far as NCTC is concerned, we have sent a detailed response to the note sent by union home minister. Our basic objections relates to creation of operation wing of NCTC and conferring power of arrest and search under cover of section 43A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in respect of the offence committed in a state which violates the doctrine of federalism under our constitutional system. Arming intelligence agencies, which are not accountable to parliament or courts, with such powers may have undesired consequences. If NCTC suo moto starts taking action without even informing the state government machinery, it will usurp authority of the states under whose functional jurisdiction “Public Order” and “Police” comes. Information to police station, after the action of search and arrest has already been taken, is no protection against misuse or abuse of power vested in the proposed NCTC.




Tripura has a long border with Bangladesh and effective management of the border is essential for ensuring internal security. Out of 856 kilometer of border with Bangladesh, fencing is still incomplete in about 175.21 km. It is necessary to complete the fencing in the remaining part as the insurgents are using these gaps to access their camps in Bangladesh. The ministry of home affairs should closely monitor construction of border fencing in the remaining part and ensure contractors mobilise adequate men, materials and machineries to complete the work in a time bound manner. Our district magistrate and collectors have been extending necessary support as needed in this regard. There is need for improved co-ordination between the BSF, implementing agency and the district administration of the state in a meaningful manner.


The balance awarded work of 179.00 km of border road may be completed in a time bound manner. Illumination of the border along the side of the fencing has been taken up, but the progress is not satisfactory and requires close and active monitoring from the MHA in co-ordination with the district administration of the state.


There are 245 sanctioned Border Outposts in Tripura but it is necessary to increase their number so that the distance between two outposts is reduced from above five kilometers in many locations to below three kilometers for effective guarding of borders, considering the tough terrain involved. For this purpose, four to five additional battalions of BSF need to be inducted in the state.


The maintenance of border roads was entrusted to CPWD long back, but they are failing to do justice to their responsibilities. The condition of the roads is rapidly deteriorating and maintaining vigil along the border is being severely affected. We suggest that the responsibility of maintenance may be awarded to either the Border Roads Organisation or any other suitable agency.


The problem of border fencing in densely populated areas close to the international border has been an issue of concern to us. Some stretches have not been fenced because of objections raised by Bangladesh. Such issues require to be taken up with the Bangladesh authorities. The gaps in fencing are being used for illegal activities. It is also unfortunate that there have been instances of certain political groups inciting local population against border fencing, affecting the completion of fencing works and they are directly or indirectly helping the perpetrators of the illegal activities.






The intelligence wing of the police needs to be suitably revamped with better equipment for countering the changing nature of crimes. Various international issues originate from across the border which needs close scrutiny and the strategy for collection of intelligence needs to be stepped up accordingly. For this purpose, deployment of adequate personnel, training for capacity building and modernisation needs to be given adequate emphasis. To this end, MHA shall have to help the states, particularly the North Eastern states.


A proposal for strengthening Special Branch was sent to government of India in 2009 requesting sanction of necessary fund. The response is still awaited. We request government of India to consider our proposal and sanction the amount as early as possible.




Keeping in view the directions of Supreme Court, the Tripura Police Act was enacted in the state in 2007. The Rules have also been framed as required under the Act. As per provisions of the Act, the State Police Board and the Police Accountability Commission have been set up. Actions have been taken for implementation of the Act by sensitisation and mobilisation of public support.


Nine police stations in the state are having separate investigation cells. For remaining, it is not immediately required in view of comparatively smaller number of registration of cases. With the fund available from 13th Finance Commission award, headquarters for five TSR battalions are being constructed and Police Training College is being upgraded. Assistance is needed for CIAT schools to have permanent structures as recommended by BPR&D.




A special cell for combating FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes) menace is functioning within state CID which has detected several such cases. A state level committee under IG (Intelligence) has also been constituted for continuous vigilance, monitoring and review of generation, printing and circulation of FICN.




The State Designated Agency has taken up the implementation of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) project in right earnest. The training component envisaged in the scheme has been undertaken. The System Integrator has been finalised and it is expected that implementation will speed up.




In the scheme of Modernisation of Police Force, the fund placed upto the financial year 2009-2010 has already been spent. The unspent amount of 2010-2011 is expected to be utilised by July, 2012. The fund released during last quarter of 2011-12 will be spent by December, 2012. The government of India should consider providing more funds and release funds in time under Police Modernisation Scheme to equip the force with latest weapons for effective functioning. The expenditure on Commando Companies may be reimbursed early. Financial assistance may be provided for construction of Police Headquarters as a special case. The financial powers of DGP have been enhanced recently under the Delegation of Financial Powers Rules for expeditious implementation of the scheme.




The continuous presence of over 36,000 Reang refugees who migrated from Mizoram and are staying in our state for over 14 years has been a matter of concern to us. The continuous presence of these families is giving rise to financial, social and law and order related situations. Our government has been providing all the support for repatriation of these families. However, the progress has been extremely slow. I would seek intervention of the government of India for ensuring that these families are repatriated with respect and honour to their places of original residence at the earliest.




The government of India has asked the state to meet 10 per cent of the charges in respect of the Central Armed Police Forces deployed in the counter insurgency duties in the state since March, 2009. The state government has been requesting the government of India for exemption from such payment but the same has not been accepted. In view of the security situation prevailing in the region and considering the financial constraints of the state governments in the North East, the government of India may consider reimbursing the amount under SRE.







About 123 acres of land has been under occupation of the Assam Rifles at Agartala. This land was being used for games and sports prior to its occupation by the Assam Rifles in 1971, at the time of Bangladesh liberation struggle. Following expansion of the Agartala town, this land is in the centre of the capital town, next to the New Secretariat Complex. We have been requesting the ministry of home affairs for releasing this land without disturbing other installations of Assam Rifles so that it could be developed as a play ground with modern facilities, attracting youth to games and sports, which is of immense importance given the background of insurgency problems in the state. I hope that MHA would take necessary steps to hand over this ground to the state government without any further delay.




With the recent visit of Bangladesh prime minister to Tripura in January, 2012, it is expected that the co-operation between the two countries will increase for better economic exchanges. Issues like trade, trans-shipment through Bangladesh, access to the railway network of Bangladesh, use of waterways in Bangladesh and access to Chittagong Port requires proper persuasion as these would fundamentally alter the economic scenario of the region. Keeping all these in mind, pending issues concerning Bangladesh should also be sorted out without wasting further time.


I am hopeful that the deliberations of the conference would be helpful for tackling issues related to internal security. I am of the firm belief that the strength of our democracy lies in the resilience of its people. By actively mobilising the people, with the support of central and the state governments, we can succeed in opening a new chapter on controlling insurgency, expediting economic development and making growth inclusive.

Thank you.