Ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Tripura continued to suffer widespread human rights violations perpetrated both by the security forces and the armed opposition groups.
According to the Tripura Police, a total of 4,448 crimes including 4,273 under the Indian Penal Code were committed in 2007 as against 4,146 in 2006. An estimated 13 civilians were killed and 59 persons kidnapped by armed opposition groups in 113 insurgency related incidents during 2007.
Scheduled Tribes (STs) who constitute 31.1 per cent (993,426 persons) of the total population (3,199,203) in Tripura (2001 census) continued to suffer from lack of access to any development including health care. They are also disproportionate victims of human rights violations.
Judicial delay continued to hamper delivery of justice. There were 21 vacancies and 33,263 cases pending in the District and Subordinate Courts as of 30 September 2007.
The border fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura has displaced many persons. Tripura has an 856 km long border with Bangladesh. In May 2007, the Tripura government demanded Rs 93 crore from the Union government to compensate people who were made homeless by the fence along the Indo-Bangladesh border. According to state government figures, about 10,000 families of bordering areas were displaced so far. 13,000 acres of land had already been fenced out. The fence is planned to go through 20 major habitations leaving 70,000 people jobless.
There are 11 jails in Tripura. According to the information received by Asian Centre for Human Rights under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received five cases of death in judicial custody in Tripura during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.
The security forces were responsible for human rights violations including violation of the right to life, rape, torture, etc.
According to the 2006 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 58 complaints were received against police personnel in Tripura during 2006. Of these, a magisterial inquiry was ordered into 2 cases and judicial inquiry ordered into 14 cases. 12 police personnel were sent for trial during the year. Of the 2 police personnel whose trials were completed, 1 was convicted and another acquitted.
According to the information obtained by Asian Centre for Human Rights through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received one case of death in police custody in Tripura during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007. The National Crime Records Bureau also recorded one death in police custody and the killing of one civilian in police arm fire incidents in 2006.
As counter-insurgency operations have intensified in Tripura, tribal youths have become targets for security personnel seeking a quick promotion and career advancement. Many civilians have been extra-judicially killed in what are believed to be fake encounters.
On 16 May 2007, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) claimed that at least 103 innocent tribal youth have been killed by the police in fake encounters in Tripura since 1993. Many complaints have been lodged against such killings but the government failed to halt the killings. The government admitted to 28 fake encounters in the state assembly.
On 7 April 2007, two tribal youths identified as Arpan Debbarma and Manas Debbarma were allegedly killed by a group of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans led by assistant commandant Pinaki Samanta at Badlabari area under Champahaor police station.
In July 2007, two jawans of the TSR were suspended for reportedly injuring a tribal woman who was hit by a bullet while she was sleeping during a special anti-insurgency operation in Brindajoypara village in Dhalai district.
In October 2007, a tribal woman identified as Saswati Tripura (63) was killed in an encounter between Border Security Force personnel and an unknown armed opposition group at Thalcherra under Chawmanu police station in Dhalai district.
Torture continued to be reported in the State. On the night of 31 July 2007, Kamal Acharjee, resident of Kalir Bazar village in Sabroom subdivision of South Tripura, was picked up by police and tortured at Manu Bazar police lock-up. He was tortured by Sabroom Sub-Divisional Police Officer Aamarjit Debbarma to extract a confession related to the death of a CPM activist Haricharan Tripura. Acharjee was allegedly hung upside down, beaten with bottles containing hot water and sticks, safety pins were thrust into his nails and hot chilly dust were inserted into his nose and penis. He was later transferred to Manu Bazar rural hospital in a serious condition.
Security Forces used excessive force while controlling protesting crowds. On 17 November 2007, Ramju Mia was killed and another injured when personnel of the 24 Battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire on protesters at Tilla Bazar under Kailasahar subdivision of North Tripura district.
Armed opposition groups (AOGs) were responsible for violations of international humanitarian law. They killed, abducted and tortured civilians.
On 5 February 2007, suspected NLFT (BM) members reportedly shot dead Ram Sen Tripura and injured Dupenjoy Tripura at Sarada Roajapara under Raishyabari police station in Dhalai district.
On the night of 25 March 2007, alleged members of National Liberation Front of Tripura reportedly shot dead a labourer and injured two others at Khangtlung of Tripura's north district.
On the night of 7 January 2007, alleged NLFT members reportedly shot dead 13-year-old tribal student identified as Ramdhan, son of Mangaldhan Tripura after having failed to find his father who was suspected of being a police informer at his home at Dinarampara village under Raisyabari police station in Dhalai district.
The AOGs also targeted political activists.
On 7 February 2007, CPM tribal leader Ratansen Tripura was reportedly shot dead by alleged members of National Liberation Front of Tripura at his home in Ratan Nagar village under Gandacherra Subdivision.
On 13 July 2007, alleged members of banned National Liberation Front of Tripura killed senior CPM leader Manya Kumar Tripura within hours of his abduction from Naisaram Roajapara in Dhalai district.
On 14 July 2007, CPM leader Haricharan Tripura was abducted and killed by unidentified assailants near his house in Kalir Bazar under Manu Bankul police station in South Tripura.
The AOGs continued to abduct during 2007. According to Tripura Police, as many as 59 persons were kidnapped, 25 were released and two killed after kidnapping in 2007.
On 4 February 2007,
Bishswar Debbarma was kidnapped at gunpoint by unidentified gunmen from his house of Tuisakatang under Salema police station.
On 2 June 2007,
six labourers identified as Nikunja Nath (35) of Padmabill in Khowai, Vidhyarai (27), Hussain Miah (50), Fakar Miah (52), Gian Miah (23) and Khalai Miah (25) of Assam were abducted by a group allegedly belonging to the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-BM) from Govindabari under Manikpur police station in Dhalai district.
On 29 June 2007, three tribal youths identified as Manikya Reang, Kunjamohan Reang and Jaysing Reang were abducted by alleged members of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) while collecting firewood from from a reserve forest near Bagaicherra village under Ambassa police station in Dhalai district.
On the night of 2 July 2007,
three members of the Village Committee identified as Ranjan Debbarma, Falendra Debbarma and Amalya Debbarma were kidnapped by suspected members of banned All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) from a work-site near Dinakobra School in Khowai sub division. They were released on the following day.
On 10 July 2007,
three persons including a truck driver were kidnapped at gunpoint by unidentified members of AOGs from Manu-Manpui road under Kanchanpur police station in North Tripura district.
On 4 December 2007, Shakti Rishidas (36) and Brajendra Das (60) were abducted at gunpoint by alleged cadres of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) in Dhalai district.
On the night of 15 December 2007, a tribal identified as Damodhar Chakma (19) was abducted at gunpoint by alleged cadres of Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT) from Upanbalipara under Longthorai Valley subdivision in North Tripura district.
On 10 December 2007, suspected cadres of Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT) abducted four workers of the NPCC engaged in erection of barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangla border at Tlangsang under Vangmun police station in North Tripura district. The abducted persons were identified as Sanjit Debbarma, K Govinda, Jyotish Roy and Hiten Roy.
Those who failed to comply with the orders of AOGs were tortured. On 22 October 2007, 10 persons were seriously injured after being beaten up with rifle butts by suspected All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) cadres at Rambabau Bazar in West Tripura for demanding a Tripura State Rifles camp in the village.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 964 cases of crimes against women were reported in Tripura during 2006. These included 189 cases of rape, 35 cases of dowry deaths, 62 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 471 cases of cruelty by husband and relatives and 207 cases of molestation. The NCRB also recorded a total of 41 cases of crimes committed against children, including three murders and 37 rapes, during the same period.
Women continued to be target of sexual abuse. The police were themselves responsible for many of the crimes.
On the night of 11 December 2007, a minor tribal girl, daughter of Rajaram Debbarma of Gopal Nagar village in West Tripura was allegedly raped by Sub-Inspector Nandan Baidya (30) in the custody of the Bisramganj police station in West Tripura.
On 12 May 2007, eight tribal girls belonging to Reang ethnic tribe were allegedly gang raped by a group of 14 Jamatia community youths at Dhalak village under Amarpur Subdivision in South Tripura district when they were returning home from a village fair.
On 13 March 2007, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura leader Rabindra Debbarma (junior) was arrested and sent to judicial custody on charges of rape and sexual abuse. He was accused of raping the daughter of a party worker.
1. Tripura Police Department, website: http://tripurapolice.nic.in/
2. Tripura - DATA HIGHLIGHTS: THE SCHEDULED TRIBES - Census of India 2001, available at: http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_st_tripura.pdf
3. Supreme Court of India, Court News- October – December 2007, available at: http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/CtNewsOct_Dec07.pdf
4. Border fence-hit need Rs 93 crore in Tripura, The Sentinel, 8 May 2007
5. Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI Application
6. 2006 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau
7. Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI Application
8. 2006 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau
9. Encounter’ probe sought, The Telegraph, 17 May 2007
10. 103 tribals killed in fake encounters: INPT, The Assam Tribune, 17 May 2007
11. Encounter’ probe sought, The Telegraph, 17 May 2007
12. Encounter’ probe sought, The Telegraph, 17 May 2007
13. 2 TSR jawans suspended, The Tribune, 12 July 2007
14. Tribal woman killed in BSF firing, The Assam Tribune, 5 October 2007
15. Torture slur on police in Tripura, The Telegraph, 3 August 2007
16. Bandh to protest Tripura firing, The Telegraph, 19 November 2007
17. Tribal villager killed, another injured, The Tripurainfo, 7 February 2007
18. NLFT kills one, injures two, The Shillong Times, 27 March 2007
19. Tripura rebels shoot teenager, The Telegraph, 9 January 2007
20. CPM leader shot dead, The Telegraph, 9 February 2007
21. Tripura CPM leaders killed, The Telegraph, 16 July 2007
22. Tripura CPM leaders killed, The Telegraph, 16 July 2007
23. Tripura Police Department, website: http://tripurapolice.nic.in/
24. Villager kidnapped at Salema, collaborator held, The Tripurainfo, 5 February 2007
25. Militants abduct six labourers, The Tripurainfo, 4 June 2007
26. Three abducted, The Telegraph, 1 July 2007
27. Three abducted persons return, The Tripurainfo, 4 July 2007
28. Three persons kidnapped by insurgents in Tripura, The Times of India, 11 July 2007
29. Tripura militants abduct two non-tribals, The Telegraph, 6 December 2007
30. Villager kidnapped at Longthorai Valley, The Tripurainfo, 18 December 2007
31. Four workers kidnapped at Vangmun, The Tripurainfo, 13 December 2007
32. Rebels beat up villagers - 10 people seriously hurt, The Telegraph, 24 October 2007
33. 2006 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau
34. Tripura cop arrested for rape - Sub-inspector assaults tribal girl in custody, The Telegraph, 17 December 2007
35. NLFT asks rapists to surrender, The Tripurainfo, 21 May 2007
36. Tripura leader accused of rape, The Telegraph, 14 March 2007