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An “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal”, constituted by the Home Ministry, will visit Tripura from February 2-4 to record evidence against outlawed insurgent outfits National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF).

The government had set up the tribunal, headed by Delhi High Court Judge Suresh Kait, on November 15 last year for adjudicating whether or not the two Tripura-based militant outfits should be declared banned organisations under the law.

A fresh ban of five years was imposed on NLFT and ATTF, along with all their factions, wings and frontal organisations, on October 3 for their “violent and subversive activities”, which aim at the establishment of an independent nation by the secession of Tripura from India through armed struggle.

“The tribunal issued a show cause notice on November 27, 2018, to NLFT and ATTF for submitting their objections/reply/written statement within 30 days. The tribunal has decided to visit Agartala, Tripura, from February 1 to February 4 for the recording of evidence,” a press release said.

The tribunal will be convened at Agartala State Guest House on February 2 and 3. “The NLFT and ATTF, if they wish, may represent themselves on these dates at 10.30 am before the tribunal at Agartala by making a communication to the Registrar of the Tribunal well in advance,” the statement said.

NLFT was formed on March 12, 1989, under the leadership of Dhananjoy Reang. Reang was later expelled from NLFT in 1993 and Nayanbasi Jamatia became the leader of the faction.

In 2001 NLFT suffered another split and a faction led by Biswamohan Debbarma emerged. It is now the main active wing of the outfit. NLFT was outlawed in 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and later under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

ATTF was formed on July 11, 1990, by a group of former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) under the leadership of Ranjit Debbarma. Though TNV surrendered arms as per a peace accord with the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, the Ranjit Debbarma faction dissociated themselves and rechristened itself as ATTF.

ATTF surrendered en masse in 1993 as per the ATTF Peace Accord but the Ranjit Debbarma faction continued insurgency activities under the All Tripura Tiger Force banner till Ranjit was arrested in Bangladesh in 2012