A Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed in an ambush by banned insurgents from across the Indo-Bangla border Friday morning in North Tripura district.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, a senior official of the BSF, who didn’t wish to be named, said, “There was an ambush around 8.30 am this morning (Friday). One of our personnel was injured. We evacuated him and brought him to ILS Hospital at Agartala but he succumbed to his injuries.”
The martyred jawan was identified as 53-year old Head Constable Girjesh Kumar Uddey from Madhya Pradesh. Officials suspect the ambush was perpetrated by cadres of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).
The ambush took place in Shimnapur at Damcherra near the remote Khantalang Border Our Post (BOP), which is a tri-junction of Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh.
The official also said the insurgents, who were on Bangladesh soil, didn’t seem to be trying to enter the Indian territory, rather they laid an ambush at a team of security personnel deployed in the area. “They didn’t seem to be coming inside. Their aim was to ambush. There was fencing there. If they had to come in, they would probably choose nalla, culverts and avoid fencing,” the official said.
Faced by firing from the ultras, BSF retaliated and the insurgents ran away into Bangladesh. “There were around 7-8 insurgents,” the BSF official said, adding that the BSF team was a strong team of 15-16 people and didn’t sustain any more injuries or fatalities.
Earlier on August 5, six including four insurgents and two collaborators of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)-Biswamohan faction, surrendered before Tripura Police in the midst of intensive operation by security forces launched after the ultras entered the Indian territory from neighbouring Bangladesh to orchestrate kidnappings and extortions in the bordering areas.
Those who laid their arms included a self-styled Lieutenant Colonel, a self-styled colonel, a self-styled warrant officer and a cadre. Although armed struggle in the state dates back to 1967 with Sengkrak, a small outfit which took up arms, it grew in the late ’80s when a series of insurgent groups rose, including the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), now-defunct All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), ATPLO etc. Most of these outfits are now defunct except a small faction of the NLFT, which is claimed to be active beyond the clutches of Indian authorities in Bangladesh. Insurgency largely came down during the erstwhile Left Front government’s rule with lucrative offers of instant grant of Rs 1.5 lakh, vocational training, Rs 2,000 stipend among other doles.
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The incumbent BJP-IPFT government dealt one of the major blows to the already waning insurgency in 2019 when over 80 cadres of NLFT’s surviving Biswamohan Debbarma faction laid down arms.
Tripura shares an 856-km-long international border with Bangladesh, patches of which are still unfenced.