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Book Review

'The Eyewitness: Tales from Tripura's Ethnic Conflict'

'The Eyewitness: Tales from Tripura's Ethnic Conflict'
Author: Manas Paul

Publisher: Lancer Publishers and Distributors

ISBN: 978-1-935501-152
Pages: 376
Features: B/W photos

Rs.695/-, $27.00

The Indian edition of 'The Eyewitness: Tales from Tripura's Ethnic Conflict', authored by Manas Paul was released in New Delhi on September 23, 2009.

The book is simultaneously published in India by the Lancer Publishers and Distributors and in the USA by the Lancer International Inc'.

The Eyewitness will be showcased at the next International Book Fair in Germany and distributed in the UK and Canada.

The book will also be available on net, - and in all search engines as well as important online book stores.


'The Eyewitness' is an important addition to our publication list as the book brings to fore a detailed and panoramic history of a tortured time that the small North East Indian state, Tripura, had once witnessed.

Tripura since 1980s to till recently bled white as protracted and deadly ethnic conflicts and a surfeit of insurgencies were resorted to- first by Tripura National Volunteers (TNV in 1980s) and then mainly by National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF). They sought homogenization of the land by committing cataclysmic fratricidal crimes and posing serious threat to human life and civilian security.

Though Tripura is considered one of the worst conflict zones of the South East Asia there were not many books written in English exclusively on the state that could help reader examine and understand the problems in right perspective.

There are, of course, some books on problems of the North East region in general but these books are having only passing comments and passages on Tripura.

Author Manas Paul delves deep into the problem and depicts the blood spilling communal confrontations, riots and cathartic culmination of the xenophobic insurrections in the state in a journalistic style.

Instead of making the book heavy with academic discussions, he created a matrix of hard facts with adequate interpretation, personal experiences and stories of witnesses who had directly or indirectly played out their role in this blood soaked theatre of almost 30 years. All those witnesses -commonman, police and security officials, administrators, militants, journalists, businessmen, victims of militancy, et al. came back once again to tell their stories- which were either long forgotten or never told before.

The eyewitness accounts were incorporated like 'quotes' in a news report. This leaves the reader enough scope and space to form his or her own opinion on the issue.

The picture in the cover page was taken by Suman Debroy, photo-journalist, Agartala, after a militant attack on a non tribal village. Besides, Suman some photographs were also taken from Budhha Gupta, photojournalist Agartala and author's undisclosed sources.        September 2009