Book Review

Tripura's Bravehearts

A Police Success Story of Counter Insurgency

Author: B.L. Vohra
Year: 2011
Price: Rs. 595
Pages: 273

Publisher: Konark Publishers

Summary
This book tells the success story of police in controlling insurgency decisively in Tripura state in India's northeast. This is only the second success story of its type in India after the success of Punjab police in controlling insurgency. Since many people in the rest of India do not know about this story it has been written by B.L. Vohra who was Director General of Police of Tripura when the fight back started with determination against the insurgents from the year 2000 onwards with full political backing of an honest political leadership led by the Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the bureaucratic backing led by the Chief Secretary Shri V. Thulasidas. Para military forces like CRPF and BSF ably assisted the local police in achieving the objective. Very few people in India know about Tripura, its fascinating history, of its fight against the insurgency and how and when it was controlled. It was a big empire once upon a time dating back to the days of Mahabharta and finds a mention in the epic. By the time the partition of India took place in 1947 it had become a small state due to the vagaries of history. At that time it lost quite a bit of land and communications facilities to what was then East Pakistan and now Bangladesh. Many Bengali Hindus came over to Tripura due to the atrocities there and soon became the majority in the state whereas the local tribals had earlier formed the majority. This led to discontentment among the tribals, which manifested itself in many forms till it became a full-fledged insurgency in the late 1970s. From then on it grew in strength and by 2000 it had become a hydra headed monster. It was then that the state police backed by strong political will took on the insurgents and defeated them using innovative strategies. The story also proves the case in point that only the efforts led by the local police can handle such situations effectively. Though the violence has been contained the issues of the tribals still remain in Tripura. One only hopes that these will be taken care of to avoid a return to insurgency in the future.