Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the Central government send contingents of the army without delay to Tripura. The situation in Tripura has seen a sharp deterioration in the run up to the Autonomous District Council elections and afterwards. The main extremist group, the NLFT has stepped up its terrorist violence with indiscriminate killings. On the other side, extremist Bengali groups have been taking the lives of innocent tribal people. This has led to a riot like situation in Khowai sub-division and some other places. More than 40 people have been killed during the last 48 hours. Due to the violence, a number of people have taken shelter in refugee camps.

The Tripura state government has been repeatedly requesting the Vajpayee government to understand the seriousness of the situation and send additional security forces. The violence in Tripura is not just a local affair. The NLFT operates from across the border where it has shelter and arms training. With external forces intervening to destabilise the situation in Tripura, it is incumbent upon the central government to send forces which can tackle the situation. It was for this purpose that the Disturbed Areas Act was promulgated in parts of Tripura. Without the deployment of the army and sufficient patrolling of the border by the BSF, national unity cannot be defended in this border state.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) warns the Vajpayee government that any attempt to evade the issue of sending back the army which has been totally withdrawn from the state will be seen as a dereliction of responsibility.

The Polit Bureau expresses its deep anguish at the loss of lives and conveys its heartfelt sympathy to all those affected. It calls upon all sections of the people not to fall prey to the provocations of the extremist forces.