Six tribal separatists surrender in Tripura

October 16th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Oct 16 (IANS) Six more tribal separatists have surrendered to security forces in Tripura after fleeing from their bases in Bangladesh, officials said here Friday.
“The Bangladesh-trained militants led by their self-styled captain Makhanrai Reang, surrendered before senior officers of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles late Thursday,” a senior police official said.

The surrendered militants, belonging to outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), aged 20 to 30-years, fled from their camps in Satchari in Sylhet district in northeastern Bangladesh, opposite Khowai town in western Tripura.

They also deposited a large cache of arms and ammunition, including AK-series rifles and foreign made ammunition.

Militants belonging to various rebel groups in the northeast region have set up about 100 camps and hideouts in different parts of Bangladesh, specially Sylhet district and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) bordering India’s Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya states.

“We managed to escape from our camps in Sylhet district after Bangladeshi security forces launched anti-insurgency operations in different parts of that country. Some more guerrillas may sneak into Tripura any time from across the border,” Reang told BSF officials.

With this, about 200 tribal guerrillas of ATTF and NLFT, including some dreaded ultras carrying rewards worth Rs.250,000 each and with Interpol arrest warrants, have fled from their Bangladeshi camps and surrendered to Indian security forces during the past one year.

The ATTF and the NLFT have been demanding independence for indigenous tribals and the secession of Tripura from India.

Meanwhile, the Tripura government has asked its counterparts in Manipur and Nagaland to provide information about the five militants of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), who were detained by BSF troopers last week while while they were crossing the Bangladesh border into northearn Tripura.

“The Manipur and Nagaland governments are yet to provide any information about the Naga militants and they have yet to confirm when they are likely to take back the tribal guerrillas, who are in police custody till Oct 20,” Director General of Tripura Police Pranay Sahaya told reporters here Friday.

According to a BSF official, the NSCN (IM) rebels had reportedly killed six of their colleagues at their camp in Ghagrachari in eastern Bangladesh before deserting the hideout.

A large cache of arms and ammunition, including five AK-series rifles and some grenades, as well as Bangladeshi currency were found with the terrorists.

“Following a crisis of food and other essentials, NSCN-IM cadres engaged in a gun battle with their superiors at their camp. Killing six senior NSCN-IM militants, they deserted their camps and tried to come to India before they were apprehended by the BSF,” a senior BSF official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

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