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Tripura rebels ban Kirtan Instruments

Tripura rebels ban Kirtan Instruments

Author:
Publication: The Telegraph
Date: April 1, 2001

After lying low for sometime, NLFT militants have started interfering in the traditional religious rites of the people.

The Church-backed militants have banned the use of traditional musical instruments for performing kirtans (devotional songs) by Hindu tribals.

In pamphlets distributed among the Hindu tribals, NLFT marauders warned against the use of traditional musical instruments.

The fiat has triggered panic among the Hindu tribals living in the interior areas like Borakha, Patni, Barkathal and Sonai in Sadar subdivision. Sources in the Sanatan Dharma Parishad said there are seven Hindu tribal groups, which perform kirtans with traditional musical instruments.

Over the past five years, the NLFT has been consistently attacking and killing Hindu tribals and forcing them to convert to Christianity at gunpoint. During this period, altogether 35 Hindu tribals, including leading Hindu tribal saint "Shanti Kali Maharaj" or "Shanti Kumar Tripura" and two leading Vaishnavaite leaders Tachhidas Reang and Sanjit Reang have been killed by the NLFT.

Besides, many Hindu ashrams and religious centres run by the tribals have been destroyed by the militants. Sources said even on March 26, a group of NLFT rebels raided the Hindu Jamatya tribal-dominated Bandarghat village in Amarpur subdivision and beat up six tribals for practising their traditional faith in violation of the group's diktat.

They also abducted the subdivisional secretary of the Jamatya Hoda (community council) in Amarpur, Nilmoni Jamatya. However, they were forced to release him under public pressure.

Sources said the relentless campaign by the Jamatya Hoda Okra (head priest and community leader) Bikram Bahadur and the resistance programme organised by his followers forced the militants to lie low for sometime. But they have stepped up their activities once again.

Secretary of the Jamatya Hoda Ramapda Jamatya, however, said they would intensify their resistance against militancy.
 


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