Author: Syed Zarir Hussain
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 29, 2005
Tribal separatists in Tripura have been using
women cadre as consorts and making pornographic films to raise money to fund
their terror campaigns.The police in Tripura said surrendered leaders of the
outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) made the shocking revelations
A senior police official, quoting surrendered
NLFT militants, said separatist leaders have been forcing women cadres and
some male recruits into acting in pornographic films shot in the jungles.
The films are then sold in various parts of
India and other adjoining South Asian countries with the NLFT making a huge
profit - the money is used for running an armed guerrilla campaign against
the security forces.
Following the sensational disclosure, police
have raided several shops selling cassettes and CDs in Tripura and seized
a number of pornographic films featuring tribal women.
According to tripurainfo.com, the State's
official website, the films are dubbed in Thai, Burmese and other languages.
The website claims to have secured a CD titled Hamjagoi Tongthoklaima (Our
Like a feature film, it runs a full cast of
"heroes" and "heroines". Initially, it appears to be a
love film with boys and girls holding hands and walking past lakes and trees.
But soon the video starts featuring close-up shots of the "actors"
undressing and having sex.
Police have been on the trail of those behind
this sleaze racket since last month when some women NLFT cadre fled their
camps and surrendered before authorities alleging sexual abuse by their male
A police spokesperson said several women cadre
of the outlawed All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and the NLFT had fled their
jungle hideouts after being subjected to frequent sexual abuse by senior leaders.
"We have reports of at least a dozen
female cadre of the ATTF and the NLFT deserting camps on grounds of sexual
abuse and harassment by male members of the outfits," a police official
said requesting anonymity. The NLFT and the ATTF are separatist groups fighting
for independent tribal homelands in Tripura.
Meenaxi Debbarma and Rajlakshmi Debbarma,
both in their early 20s, joined the ATTF four years back with the dream of
carving out a tribal homeland through armed struggle. The two tribal girls
underwent a three-month arms training and were all ready to join action.
"We were in for a shock when we found
our male commanders taking turns in visiting our camps in the jungles and
abusing us sexually," the two renegade ATTF women told the police. The
two picked up courage to flee their camps located in Bangladesh and surrendered
before Tripura police on Wednesday.
"All the 17 women staying in our camp
were subjected to frequent sexual assault by leaders," they said, adding,
"Instead of allowing us to go for action, our commanders made us cook
food and do other chores in the past four years."
The NLFT had faced a crisis recently with
many male cadre deserting its camps for feeling lonely in the jungles.
"To stem the exodus, the NLFT leadership
decided to raise a women's army by recruiting 100 cadre into its ranks to
keep the male cadre in good humour," the police official said. "The
militants lead a lonely life in the jungles and once you have women there,
it is anybody's guess what could happen," he added.
But the move to recruit women cadre by NLFT
backfired with couples falling in love and deserting camps to get married.
"During the past year, many militant
couples married secretly and either fled the camps or simply surrendered to
security forces," the official said.
Overwhelmed by desertions, the NLFT leadership
has read the riot act to its members. "During investigations of some
cadres, it was learnt the NLFT leadership has ordered its male ranks not to
fall in love and has strictly forbidden physical relationships with women
cadre," a senior intelligence official said.
News agencies have reported Tripura DGP GM
Srivastava saying: "We have information about militants using tribal
girls for sexual exploitation. Many girls who managed to flee the clutches
of militants told police officers that they were being sexually exploited
in militant hideouts." Meanwhile, BBC News quoted some video production
house owners in Tripura confirming the racket. "We get orders to process
raw porn shot in remote areas," the owner of a production company in
Agartala told the BBC. He did not want to be named.
"We get a lot more money, much above
normal rates, to process these films and deliver a sleek final product. Insurgents
are behind these films. When we process their raw stock, we can see boys standing
around with automatic rifles and revolvers pulling in girls but we are supposed
to cut all that out and just concentrate on the sex," he told BBC News.
* NLFT leaders not only sexually abuse tribal
girls recruited into the rebel army but also use them, and some male guerrillas,
to produce porn films
* CD titled Hamjagoi Tongthoklaima (Our Experiences)
features close-ups of NLFT cadres having sex
* Young tribal girls who fled militant clutches
say they were sexually exploited in hideouts
* Agartala-based raw porn stock processers
say while editing these films they can see boys with automatic rifles pulling
in the girls but this is to be cut out and only the sex part retained