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Tripura ultras are new porn kings

Tripura ultras are new porn kings

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 recently.

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 Experiences).

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 leaders.

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.

XXX militancy

* 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

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