Containing militancy
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Containing militancy: A success story in Tripura
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Containing militancy: A success story in Tripura

Tripura is a success story in so far as containing militancy is concerned.

By Pinaki Das

Agartala (Tripura), May 3 : Tripura is a success story in so far as containing militancy is concerned.

The rehabilitation policy of both the State and Central Governments has played a vital role in bringing many a misguided youth back into the social mainstream.

There are three vocational training centres in Tripura, all of which train surrendered militants in more acceptable vocations such as the handling of electronic instruments.

"I took training for TV, tape recorder and radio repairing for one year. Now, if I get financial help from the government, I hope to do well and lead a normal life," says Tuima Debbarma, a surrendered militant.

Some of them are learning to be drivers. Monitored and guided by security forces, the whole idea behind the rehab centre is to give these youths a feel of the normal life.

The surrendered youths demonstrate an unusual zeal to be in the driving seat of their life. They now don't follow the dictates of their group leader sitting across the border.

"I am taking training in motor driving and hope that this training will help me to earn enough to lead a normal life with my family. I have surrendered and come back so that I can lead a peaceful life," adds Rabbi Debbarma, another surrendered militant.

The surrendered militants admit that initially it was tough for them to readjust to their new form of life, but now say that they understand the importance of labour and leading a dignified life.

"When I was a student I joined the movement for independent Tripura. Now, I think that is impossible. NLFT and ATTF -these two tribal groups -- are fighting among themselves. So, the dream of an independent Tripura becomes bleak. Now, I have left that life of guns and I have come here with the hope that with government support, we can have a good future," says Tuima Debbarma.

The process of surrender dates back to 1988 when in remote Gobindabari village, 437 cadres of the Tripura National Volunteers surrendered after negotiations with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and signed a peace accord.

Since then, Tripura has not looked back to militancy. Some of the surrendered militants are elected representatives, and all they want is a better deal for surrendered youths.

Bijoy Hwrankal, presently a legislator, says: " The government must review the amount given to theminally. If they assess the entire expenditure, right from the time of surrender to their rehabilitation, the cash flow is hardly enough. So, even after that training is over they should be given a good amount of money so that they can have small house and some small amount for their family."

Since 1998, there has been a new rehabilitation policy by the Centre. The Central Government funds all training programmes for surrendered militants. The result is there for everybody to see.

Life has become easy. Youngsters now know what it means to be young and to be alive.

Tripura today is marching ahead with states like Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, where peace has restored the spirituality and wonder of life.

According to the 1988 Peace Accord with the surrendered militant the number of reserved seats in the state Assembly was raised from 17 to 20 in the 60-member House. More power was given to the Autonomous District Council.

ANI

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