Many displaced due to fear of militancy, others fled their homes due to panic

The Tripura government will soon come out with a rehabilitation plan for people displaced from their home by militancy. Officials are now engaged in working out modalities of a resettlement package.

“Extremists forced several thousands of people to leave their villages. Others fled their homes out of fear,” an official told The Hindu on Sunday.

The displacement mainly occurred between 1997 and 2005 when armed ultras killed hundreds, injured and kidnapped many. The victims were mostly non-tribal, besides sections of tribal people who vehemently opposed insurgency.

A protest by several hundred evacuees at Bishalgarh, near Agartala, was called off on Saturday after officials assured them of help within the next two months.

“Officials persuaded us to withdraw the agitation and promised us to meet our major demand [rehabilitation] in two months’ time,” Gopal Laskar, leader of the Displaced Peoples’ Committee, said.

He added that the administration had in the past made similar assurances, but nothing materialised. “Nevertheless, we want to give the government another chance and wait before adopting the next course of protest,” Mr. Laskar stated.

The official said the government was serious about helping those displaced by insurgency. “With insurgents now lying low, it’s time to think of the victims.”

A massive exodus occurred in Khowai, West, Dhalai, Seepahijala and Gumti districts due to the activities of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF). While the ATTF has been completely crippled, the NLFT has some presence in Dhalai district, but is virtually ineffective thanks to heavy security deployment.

On the other hand, surrender of NLFT cadre has become a regular feature — the latest was that of its self-styled army chief Parsuram Tripura, on Friday. He has pledged to work for peace and integration of the State’s multi-ethnic society.