There is nothing new about the recent bout of violence in Tripura, except that it is immediate in its impact. The battlelines across which this ethnic war is being waged are decades old. And the week-long violence since May 18 in the western district of the state, in which 50 lives were lost, is nothing more than the aggravation of perpetual hostility between the tribals and the non-tribal Bengalis.
Chief minister and cpi(m) leader Manik Sarkar admits as much: “It’s not a new problem. Vested interests have been active for several years to divide the tribals and the Bengalis in the state.”