National Liberation Front of Tripura
|National Liberation Front of Tripura|
|Participant in Tripura rebellion|
|Active||1989 – present|
|Opponents||Government of Tripura|
The National Liberation Front of Tripura (or NLFT) is a Tripuri nationalist militant organization based in Tripura, India. The NLFT seeks to secede from India and establish an independent Tripuri state, and has actively participated in the Tripura Rebellion. The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura.
The Government of the state of Tripura claimed to have uncovered evidence to support the assertion that the Baptist Church of Tripura has been funding the terrorists. The NLFT has been accused of forcing local tribals to convert to Christianity at gunpoint. They have also opened fire on Hindu worshippers and ransacked celebrations of Durga Puja.
The Baptist Church of Tripura was initially set up by missionaries from New Zealand in the 1940s. Despite their efforts, even until the 1980s, only a few thousand people in Tripura had converted to Christianity. In the aftermath of one of the worst ethnic riots, the NLFT was born in 1989—allegedly with the help of the Baptist Church. Since then, the NLFT has been advancing its cause through armed rebellion.
Indian Government officials have accused the Baptist Church of Tripura of supporting this violent campaign by providing funding and arms for the group. In April 2000, Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, was caught providing 50 gelatine sticks, 5 kilograms of potassium and 2 kilograms of sulphur and other ingredients for making explosives to the group.
In October 2000, the NLFT ordered all Hindus to cease celebration of Durga Puja  In 2001, there were 826 reported terrorist attacks in Tripura, in which 405 people lost their lives and 481 kidnappings were made by the NLFT and related organizations such as the Christian All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTP). Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, was arrested for and confessed, under torture from police, to providing munitions and financial aid to the NLFT from 1998 until 2000.
In another incident in August 2003, police arrested the secretary of a Baptist Christian Missionary church in North Tripura District who was in possession of 5 kilograms (11 lb) of potassium, 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) sulphur, few gelatin sticks and 45 grams (1.6 oz) of high explosive materials.
Recent investigations, as well as confessions from surrendered members, have revealed that the NLFT have been making and selling pornography to finance their activities. This includes DVDs of pornographic films made by the group with tribal men and women kidnapped and forced to participate in sex acts while being filmed. The movies are dubbed into various languages and sold illegally throughout the region for a profit. The women have also been sexually abused by NLFT members. NLFT produced pornographic films of kidnapped tribal men and women at gunpoint in order to finance its activities (claimed by Left front government and Bengalis). NLFT leaders were also accused of sexually abusing female prisoners.
According to the Institute for Conflict Management, approximately 90% of the NLFT's administration are Christians. Since 2000, several hundred militants have surrendered to the Indian Security Forces.
Cited causes of internal conflicts include the reluctance of Biswamohan Debbarma's Central Executive Committee to nominate Joshua Debbarma as the King of ‘Tripura Kingdom’; misappropriation of funds by senior leaders; lavish lifestyles led by the senior leadership; and forcible conversion of tribal cadres/civilians to Christianity.
The Biswamohan faction (NLFT/BM) is currently headed by Biswamohan Debbarma.
Upon the surrender of Mantu Koloi, second in command, he requested that Biswamohan Debbarma and Ranjit Debbarma engage in talks with the Government of India to resolve the crisis, but both leaders vowed to fight on.
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- [dead link]
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