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Tripura: Four, including NLFT ultra, arrested; police say some border construction agencies helping insurgents

Assistant Inspector General of Police Subrata Chakraborty said the police had information about extortion notices being circulated by the banned outfit in the area, especially amongst construction agencies engaged in border fencing work.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
January 21, 2021 11:53:06 am
Handcuffs, crime, jailAll four were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. (Representational)

Four persons, including an ultra belonging to the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-BM), were arrested by the Tripura Police Wednesday. The arrest comes weeks after four top commanders of the organisation had surrendered. The arrests were made at Raishyabari market area in Gandacherra, Dhalai district, 135 km from Agartala. All four were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In a statement issued Thursday, Assistant Inspector General of Police Subrata Chakraborty said the police had information about extortion notices being circulated by the banned outfit in the area, especially amongst construction agencies engaged in border fencing work.

“In the course of our investigation…, it transpired that a group of NLFT extremists, with sophisticated arms, led by Bikram Bahadur Jamatia was camping opposite Raishyabari border inside Bangladesh at Sambhumani Para, PS Panchari, District Khagrachari and was engaged in extortion from the border construction agencies,” the Chakraborty said.

The statement also said some of the barbed wire fence construction agencies were “assisting extremist groups” by providing money clandestinely.

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Based on a tip off, a team of the Raishyabari police station conducted a raid and detained three persons in possession of Rs 15 lakhs and a car. They confessed during preliminary investigation that they were waiting for members of NLFT insurgent outfit to hand over the money. Subsequently, a raid was conducted based on their statements and one Sonamohan Tripura was also detained in connection with the case,” the official informed. The three arrested for financially assisting the insurgent outfit were identified as Amit Bhowmik of West Tripura, Suman Majumder of Khowai and Arjun Debnath of Gomati district.

Last month, Director General of Tripura Police V S Yadav had said four of the top ten NLFT-Biswamohan commanders including its self-styled assistant foreign secretary Rathan Kalai alias Reuben, self-styled assistant organising secretary Joy Sadhan Jamatia alias Jara, self-styled assistant publicity and Information Secretary Madhu Ranjan Noatia alias Yafung and self-styled deputy chief of army staff Kukila Tripura alias Yarung had laid down arms before the police.

According to reports, the outfit is seeing its cadre strength deplete and is reeling under financial crisis, the official said.

NLFT was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 1997 and has been involved in violence, operating from their camps across the international border. NLFT has been responsible for violent activities including 317 insurgency incidents in which 28 security forces and 62 civilians lost their lives during the period 2005-2015. Peace talks with NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by NLFT since 2016.

Tripura shares a 856-km-long international border with neighbouring Bangladesh, of which around 67 km area is unfenced.

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