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Tripura People's Democratic Front [TPDF]

Confronted with the problem of direct threat to their very existence as a distinct people and the loss of the means of survival, the land, Tripura National Volunteers (initially Tribal National Volunteers) launched an armed struggle in the early 1980s to liberate Tripura from India's' colonial rule so that the Tripuri people could be saved from this twin danger. The TNV received help and support from the Mizo National Front (MNF) which was also fighting against India for an independent Mizoram.

However, with the signing of the 'Mizo Accord' in 1986 and the subsequent surrender of the MNF to the Indian authorities, the TNV could not continue the armed struggle any longer. Thus the TNV also signed the 'Memorandum of settlement' (a tripartite agreement between the TNV, the Tripura State Government and the Indian government) on August 12, 1988. The main point of the agreement was the restoration of alienated lands to the Tripuri people. To this day, no any action has been taken to implement the terms of the said agreement because of vehement opposition from the Hindu Bengali refugees. Naturally, the Tripuri people felt cheated by the India and their puppet state government on the one hand and confronted by the communal Hindu Bengali refugees who declared that 'they will give blood, but no land.'

In spite of all such provocation's and betrayals, the Tripuri people still wanted to resolve the problem within the framework of the Indian Constitution peacefully. It was with this intention that the All Tripura Tiger Force was established in 1990 to continue the struggle of the indigenous Tripuri people with a TEN-POINT DEMAND within the framework of the Indian Constitution peacefully. The Tripuri people patiently continue their democratic struggle up to 1996 as any other Indian community would have done. However, the government of India was not willing to concede even these democratic and constitutional demands. New Delhi simply refused to realize the grave situation confronting the indigenous Tripuri people as has been the case also in regard to other indigenous peoples in the so-called northeastern region.

Under the circumstances, the Tripuri people began to question the rationale of regarding themselves as ''Indians' while the mainland Indian government do not treat them as one. Being faced with such a life and death situation whereby their fundamental human rights are being denied, suppressed and violated, the Tripuri people found themselves with no alternative but to resort to armed struggle to defend human dignity and honor their very existence as a distinct people.

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