Tripura farmers released by National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT); North-East Students’ Organization to stage united stir on June 7; Bodo militant faction warns against stage shootout; New Youth policy to stem North-East militancy; Maoist trying to
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  • (MAY 28-JUNE 3)

    According to reports, a crackdown by Bangladesh security forces has forced a separatist outfit to release three farmers kidnapped 23 days ago from Tripura and taken across the border. According to a police spokesman, militant of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have released the three tribal farmers on 29 May, 2012 at Bhagirath Para along the India-Bangladesh border in northern Tripura. The farmers reached a nearby camp of Tripura State Rifles. It would be worth noting that four tribal farmers were kidnapped by heavily-armed militants of the banned NLFT on May 7 while they were working in their field at Gandachara, around 185 km from here. One of the farmers had escaped the day he was kidnapped. The militants had taken the hostages to Bangladesh through the unfenced border. 1
    In another development, according to reports, the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) announced a united agitation across the North East region pressing for immediate solution to its long-standing demands, which include granting of special constitutional status and a separate time zone for the region. The other demands include repeal of AFSPA, safety and security of the NE students pursuing higher education in other parts of India, besides setting up of a Special Education Commission to address the grievances of the students. It also reiterated its demand for a Central law to protect the NE students from harassment, especially those living in metros. 2
    Meanwhile, reports noted that a Bodo militant faction in Assam on May 31, 2012 warned the authorities against staged shootouts in the name of anti-insurgency operations. Reacting to the killing of one Simul Boro in Kamrup district on May 30, 2012 the faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by its jailed chairman Ranjan Daimary said the outfit would kill 20 people against killing of one innocent Bodo youth by the security forces. Assistant information and publicity secretary of the organisation B. Samijing informed this in an emailed statement to media. 3
    According to reports, in a fresh initiative to lure away youths from joining militancy, the new National Youth Policy 2012 proposes to frame an action plan to tackle the menace particularly in conflict-affected areas of North-East. The exposure draft released on May 31, 2012 by Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Ajay Maken proposes to revise the target age group of youths from the existing 13-35 years to 16-30 years. In a first, Youth Development Index (YDI) is proposed to be incorporated as part of the policy to serve as the baseline and ready reckoner for evaluation. The new Youth Policy divides the target groups into six categories including the Youth at Risk and Violent Conflicts. The Ministry has proposed to hold consultations with various stakeholders. As part of the regional consultations, the discussion on the youth policy would be held at NEHU University in Shillong in the third week of July this year. 4
    In other developments, according to reports, the head of the Maoist rebels for the Eastern zone, Prosanto Ghosh alias Kishan Da has been taking personal interest in the expansion of the bases of the rebels in the North East region of the country and it was Ghosh, who entrusted Indranil Chanda with the responsibility of setting up bases in Assam and to maintain links with Manipur based outfit People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Some important facts regarding the expansion plan of the Maoists in the North East came to light during the questioning of Indranil Chanda, who was made in charge of the Maoist rebels in Assam. Indranil was arrested in Kolkata by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with the help of the Special Task Force (STF) of West Bengal police and he is now in the custody of the NIA. According to sources during questioning, Indranil admitted that he was given the responsibility of setting up of the bases of the Maoist rebels in Assam by Prosanto Ghosh and he made several trips to Guwahati and other parts of Assam. However, he claimed not having visited Sadiya in Tinsukia district, where the Maoist rebels now have strong base. 5