India Claims Rebels Using Porn to Fund Terror

Matt O'Conner
TRIPURA, India — Authorities say tribal separatists are forcing women to perform in sex movies in order to raise money to finance a violent rebellion. The separatists, however, deny the charge and claim the government is trying to turn public sympathy against them.

“We have many pornographic CDs with young women and men featured in these movies, which were handed over to us by some surrendered [rebels],” Tripura Police Chief G.M. Srivastava told Reuters.

Police allege that several arrested members of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and sister group All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) have confessed to using tribal women to act in porn films against their will and that they have confiscated a number of tapes from the captured rebels. They also say several women escaped and have confirmed the story.

The NLFT and ATTF are fighting for an independent homeland in the region bordering Bangladesh. The groups are officially outlawed within India and classified as terrorist organizations.

Police say the groups are using money generated from sales of the tapes to buy arms and support guerilla campaigns against government forces.

“We found out that rebel leaders forced several women and some male recruits into acting in many pornographic films shot in the jungles,” a senior police official told an Indian news service. “We have reports of at least a dozen female cadres of ATTF and NLFT deserting their camps after sexual abuse and harassment by male members of the outfits.”

Police say the productions were very professional, with movies translated into several languages including Thai, Japanese and Burmese and sold abroad, although they were unable to explain how rebel groups hiding in jungles could produce such polished work.

“Investigations are on to find the people involved in shooting the films and also post-production work,” another police official said. “Action will be taken against them for aiding and abetting terrorism and for making obscene films.”

Police further allege that the rebel groups have been sending sex slaves to work in brothels throughout South Asia also as part of a massive fundraising effort.

Rebels have issued statements denying all claims of sexual abuse.