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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The 1999 abduction and killing OF 4 RSS Pracharaks in Tripura, and a terrorist who ”spoke to Jesus”

Zoshua Debbarma alias Jogendra Debbarma alias ‘Bubagra’ Barnnabas Borok , perhaps, would not ring any bell at all for many. In all likelihood he would appear as simply one among those elderly militants who once belonged to largely eliminated NLFT group.

But, fact remains, Zoshua among all other militants stood apart for two things : One, he happened to be the craziest militant- almost insane, and, perhaps, most stupid in a sense and second, for his eccentricities at a point of time NLFT -Biswa Mohan group’s religio-militancy strategy was shaped and later he also played a key role in NLFT’s division.

He also happened to be the most fanatic in his Christian belief and claimed to have been in ‘talking terms with Jesus Christ who would appear before him at night and used to give him ideas as to how militancy and manslaughter should be carried out in Bengali Hindu dominated areas’. He was also the man under whose influence the NLFT abducted and murdered four RSS Pracharaks from Kanchanchhda, Dhalai on August 6, 1999.

Jogendra Debbarma, who first became known by his Christian name Zashua, though a Baptist Christian happened to be a teacher at Moharcherra Holy Cross Catholic school, where he found his student Nayanbasi Jamatia. It was the same Nayanbasi who later splintered off from the NLFT (BM) group and floated his own NLFT-Nayanbasi group. Nayanbasi -who also happened to be an eccentric -almost like his mentor Zoshua later surrendered demanding ‘entire tribal welfare fund in his personal account’ and then ultimately became virtually a street beggar.

Zoshua was also one among the first five who came up with the idea of floating NLFT on 14 April, 1989 –the four others being Dhananjay Reang, Kamini Debbarma , Mantu Koloy, Chandan Tripura. Later six others like Bishnupada Jamatia, Jayanta Reang, Dilip Debbarma and Biswamohan Debbarma joined the group.

The NLFT was formed with Dhananjay Reang former vice president of TNV-becoming the founder president. The group exactly after two year of its first operation ( Operation Genesis on December 11, 1991 at Tainani police station) suffered split on December 10, 1993–issues like Dhananjay’s weakness for women, financial embezzlement, murders etc were told to be main reasons for the split but according to Dhanajay himself the core issue was Tripuri militants’ reluctance to accept a Reang’s leadership.

Dhananjay was chased out and he formed his own group Tripura Resurrection Army which again surrendered en masse in April 1997. In the meantime, Zashua – for his stated ‘divine connection –close proximity with the Lord Himself’’, perhaps- became the self-styled ‘Chief Political Advisor’ of the NLFT Biswa Mohan.

If any advice Zashua kept on giving the NLFT it was to ensure the outfit became a staunch Christian organization. According to the NLFT’s own statement issued later in 2008 it was under his instruction and influence that NLFT at the last part of 1990s started forceful conversion at gun point and attacking Hindu rituals, puja etc. Some Church leaders also got involved in it secretly.

Buchkang Jamatia a former militants said, during first part of 1997 one NLFT collaborator also a Pastor Bijoy Reang forcefully converted him and his 10 other ‘comrades in arms’ (who were led by Jabamohan Jamatia and Nokha Debbarma.

“In fact most of we the field cadres and also the leaders got converted in Bangladesh and in Tripura at the direct instruction from our top guns”, said Buchkang. It was at this point of time that under his instigation NLFT not only carried out forceful conversion but also kidnapped the four senior RSS Pracharaks -Shyamal Kanti Sengupta, Dinenandranath Dey, Sudhamoy Datta and Subhankar Chakrabarty from Vanabashi Kalyan Ashram.

The NLFT demanded Rs 2 crore for their release. The incident rattled entire country and the then Home Minister L K Advani – who personally knew them also took up the matter with all concerned to ensure their safe return. The then RSS Chief K Sudarshan also visited Tripura and then Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, a CPM politburo member pursued the matter with concerned authorities. Bangladesh was also requested by New Delhi to see if the four respected Pracharaks could be rescued. But all initiatives failed.

At that time NLFT not only attacked Durga Puja at Hadra or forcefully stopped Saraswati puja in schools and prevented Hindu tribals from performing any Hindu rituals, they also killed on December 4, 2000 popular Hindu religious leader of the tribals Shantikali at Jirania.

On January 13, 2002 on the eve of Makar sangkranti a traditional harvest festival which is also popular among the Hindu tribals, the NLFT militants shot dead 16 people in Singicherra Bazaar. The NLFT made it clear that no tribal should worship their traditional ( animistic) deities, sing Hindu devotional song, women must not put on sindoor or wear bangles etc.

In at least one incident militants, mostly Baptists, also opened fire at a vehicle in North Tripura carrying a Catholic priests Fr Crashta and Fr Paul. Fr Paul Puducherri was seriously injured and lost one eye.

That a section of Baptist Church leaders were directly involved in militancy got exposed when Nagmanlal Halam, a Church leader from Noapara Baptist Church in South Tripura was arrested on April 17, 2000 with explosives meant for the NLFT. He was carrying 50 gelatine sticks, five kgs of potassium. Two kgs sulphur and other ingredients.

In August 2003 police arrested one more Baptist Church leader , in fact Secretary of Baptist Christian Missionary Church in North Tripura with five kgs of potassium, one kg sulphur, few gelatine sticks, and 45 gms of high explosives. He confessed that he was supplying the explosive materials to the NLFT.

The NLFT’s Christian and anti-Hindu activities were wide open. The then Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in his speech time and again referred to it and Special Branch of Tripura police had specific files on the matter. In fact, a communication from the Tripura government to Union Home Ministry said : On June 5, 1997 NLFT, NSCN, ULFA and PLA held a top level secret meeting at Balurghat Church in Sylhet of Bangladesh. The meeting was attended by some Church leaders and also suspected ISI agents. The meeting was reported to have discussed various aspects of North East militancy where NLFT put forward their points and determination to turn Tripura into a Christian land.

Former Home Minister L K Advani wrote : ( After abduction of four RSS Pracharaks) I called a meeting of central and state government officials, which was also attended by (Manik) Sarkar who told me that his government had evidence of Baptist Church in Tripura backing NLFT’s separatist anti- national activities. (My Country, My Life. P 729-730)

Advani then continued on his efforts to secure release of the fourRSS pracharaks : “I was deeply distressed and so was the entire RSS community across the country. Some felt that the CPI(M) government in Tripura did not cooperate. This was not true. Sarkar ( CM Manik Sarkar), it seemed to me, was genuinely interested in securing the release of the captives.

Some in the Sangha parivar felt that I did not put in enough efforts to save the life of the four pracharaks. As someone who is proud of hving been an RSS pracharaks I could not have taken the task lightly.  Nevertheless, I must say that the government’s job became extremely difficult when the kidnapped persons were taken across the border to Bangladesh” ( My Country, My Life).

All the religious activities and also attacks on Hindu individuals, activists, elders, religious leaders or institutions were done at the ‘advice’ of Zoshua.

However, since 1999 hardened NLFT militants like Biswamohan or Kamini started questioning Zashua’s divine connection despite the fact that they were also devout Christian. But, the problem started when 1998 Zoshua claimed that he should be accepted as ‘King of Tripura’ on the basis of his claim of being reincarnation of 118th King of Tripura ‘’Hamthorpha’’. He changed his name to ‘Bubagra’ Barnabbas Borok to impose on him the divine Royalty.

But the NLFT leaders were not ready to áccept him as ‘Bubagra’. So as chairman of the ‘Borok Human Rights’body he wrote a letter to the Amnesty International and signed it as ‘Bubagra B Borok’’. In reply Amnesty replied addressing him as ‘Mr Bubagra B Borok’. Zoshua then went to the leaders flaunting the Amnesty letter claiming that éven the international bodies also accepted him as the ‘King that is Bubagra’. Yet, the NLFT BM leaders were not “ímpressed’.

By 1999 Zashua started steadily losing his influence and when his ‘kingship’ was turned down, according to NLFT statements, he wanted to “return home”. The militant leaders happily agreed. When all arrangements were made to send him back to home from Bangladesh –Zashua refused to leave claiming “ he was told by Jesus Christ in his dream that he must continue with the party”. The NLFT statement added that ‘he also forgot a good Christian cannot subscribe to the doctrine of reincarnation ( that of Hamthorpha)’.
Then Zashua came up with another idea- he wanted money to go for Bible training. But the NLFT’s Central Executive Council turned it down saying that since Zashua was already in ‘’direct talking terms with Jesus Christ himself, he did not need any such training’’.

It was during this period NLFT was also going under severe internecine infights led by Nayanbasi Jamatia alias J Nokbar and Janbir Debbarma with direct guidance and instigation from Zashua.

The NLFT Biswamohan group then had to reduce its overt religious activities and conversion when mighty socio-religious apex body Jamatia Hoda began resisting the move especially after the militants kidnapped 17 Hoda activists.

A statement issued by the NLFT Biswamohan on November 8, 2008 said : In 1999 “Barnabbas ( Jashua alias Jogendra Debbarma)secretly and without approval of the Central Executive Committee had ordered area commanders to prohibit Hoda functioning and Idol worships pf Hindus like Durgapuja etc and to annihilate those who were opposed to the idea. This had adverse effect among the rank and file , not to speak of hostile reactions from the general public”.

In the meantime, due to Zashua’s and his one -time student Nayanbasi along with some followers were forced to leave the NLFT Biswamoha group . Nayanbasi formed his own outfit which also later surrendered—first its leaders then Nayanbasi himself. He within a year became mentally deranged and ultimately went into oblivion.

On the other hand Zoshua -with all his ‘divine connections’ and his ‘direct communications with Jesus Christ’ also was left in the cold for years in Bangladesh.

(The story was published on Tripuranet.com on August 8, 2021 and has been reproduced here)

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  1. No future with man made step brother abrahamic cults !
    See the Russo ukraine war… catholic nazi ukraine headed by jew & goaded cunningly on by vatican firing from catholic biden’s shoulders…Putin is orthodox russian jeeesoos cult church ! What hope is there if such a war is fought between the abrahamic cults & sub cults !
    Two thousand years of such murderous internecine wars & genocides !

  2. The jeesoos cult has more blood on its hands than any other religion. European pagan( bhagwan) culture was destroyed violently 1800 years back onwards. Science was destroyed, libraries were burnt & later the civilisations of  lands in america , asia, australia, new zealand etc etc etc were destroyed. Same was tried in Japan, 400 years back,  by the vatican.
    The inquisitions by portugese in Goa is one example…3 hundred years back.
    Abrahamic cults need to be substituted by humanism. That will end the violence & wars.


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