Tribunal confirms ban on Tripura groups NLFT, ATTF | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Tribunal confirms ban on Tripura groups NLFT, ATTF

ByNeeraj Chauhan
May 23, 2024 01:04 PM IST

The tribunal said the groups were trying to consolidate their strength with new recruitments and increasing their sympathizer base for their secessionist agenda

An Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) tribunal has confirmed the ban on the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and their factions, wings, and frontal organisations, saying their cadres have been involved in kidnapping for ransom, extortion, etc. It said these groups have been carrying out activities from Bangladesh and have properties there.

The Union home ministry declared NLFT and the ATTF as “unlawful associations” in 2023. (PTI)
The Union home ministry declared NLFT and the ATTF as “unlawful associations” in 2023. (PTI)

The tribunal said the groups were trying to consolidate their strength with new recruitments and increasing their sympathizer base for their secessionist agenda. It added they also have significant weapons.

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The Union home ministry declared NLFT and the ATTF as “unlawful associations” under the UAPA in October 2023. The tribunal scrutinised the material backing the ban and confirmed it in March. Its decision was made public this week.

“In the absence of any materials against the declaration, the tribunal on an objective assessment of the materials placed before the tribunal on behalf of the Central government and the government of Tripura in support of the declaration, has reached a conclusion that the two associations [NLFT and ATTF] during the period under consideration, have been engaging themselves in activities which are unlawful activities, which have the tendency to undermine the authority of the democratically elected governments at the Centre and in the state...,” the tribunal said in its order.

It said the unlawful activities of the groups reigned in fear and terror in the general populace, particularly of Tripura. “Such unlawful activities pose a serious threat and are prejudicial to the security and integrity of the Nation, as the two organisations are found pursuing their secessionist agendas continuously.”

The tribunal added there is sufficient cause to declare the organisations and their factions as unlawful associations.

The material the Centre and Tripura government shared with the tribunal is part of the order. It said NLFT has been working in nexus with other north-east insurgent organisations with their bases in Bangladesh. The organisations include the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup (KYKL), Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), and Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

“The [NTLF] outfit is found engaged in [the] supply of arms from Myanmar to Bangladesh-based outfits namely, United People Democratic Front (UPDF) and Marma Liberation Party (MLP),” the tribunal said. It cited intelligence inputs and added they indicated that NLFT was trying to consolidate its strength by taking advantage of the political turmoil in Bangladesh.

“The outfit has struck a deal with the forces inimical to Indo-Bangladesh friendship ties and they are determined to work together with an objective to create unrest in Bangladesh as well as to disintegrate India,” said the tribunal. “It is expected that violent activities of the outfit will further rise if there is [a] change in the political climate in neighbouring country Bangladesh”.

The tribunal said ATTF’s armed cadres operate from camps in Bangladesh. “Though the ATTF is not very active at present, its leaders or cadres had reorganized in October 2017 and they are continuing with illegal and subversive activities like protesting against [the] merger of Tripura with the Indian union,” it said. “The ATTF has connections with various north-east insurgent groups like National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN-K) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)”.

The tribunal said ATTF is maintaining its weapons in Bangladesh as well as its network with other Indian insurgent outfits and anti-Indian forces in Bangladesh. “...there is a real threat of ATTF reviving its activities in [the] future if the political climate in Bangladesh and Tripura becomes favourable.”

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