Four insurgents and two collaborators of the Biswamohan faction of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) surrendered in the midst of an intensive operation launched by security forces to nab them, police said on Friday.
Assistant inspector general (law and order) Jyotishman Das Chowdhury identified the four armed insurgents as Umesh Koloi alias Uklai, Fanijoy Reang alias Sathukri, Victor Jamatia alias Halam and Uttam Kishore Jamatia alias Usha. They hailed from Ompi in Gomati district, Manikpur of Dhalai district and Killa in Gomati district.
Police said the four insurgents had entered the state from Bangladesh through the Ganganagar border, adding that they moved to the jungles of Ganganagar in North Tripura, Mungiakami in Khowai district, Ompi and Killa police station limits in Gomati district.
Chowdhury said that police, Tripura State Rifles, the CRPF and the BSF were involved in the intelligence-based special operation. “As a result of [the operations], the group faced hardships to move and even survive in the deep jungle of the Baramura range. Pressure exerted by security forces made them surrender today before Tripura police,” he said in the statement.
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Umesh Koloi is a self-styled colonel and Victor Jamatia is a self-styled lieutenant colonel of the banned insurgent outfit. Fanijoy is a self-styled warrant officer and Uttam Kishore Jamatia is a cadre of the outfit.
They entered Indian territory on July 21 and also had help from two collaborators—Surjya Kishore Jamatia from Birganj in Gomati district and Brajendra Reang from Teliamura in Khowai district. The duo also surrendered before police.
According to police, the insurgents laid down an AK-56 rifle with two magazines and 60 live rounds, an M-20 pistol with a magazine and five live rounds, a .38 calibre pistol with a magazine and 15 live rounds. The ultras also deposited one extortion notice book of the NLFT, some notice pads or money receipts and other incriminating evidence, police added.
Describing the surrender as a huge success for police, Chowdhury said preliminary interrogation had revealed that the NLFT-BM was facing “financial and other hardships”.
Frustrated with underdevelopment and a sense of alienation, a section of tribal youths took up arms and armed insurgency started in Tripura in the late 1980s. Though armed struggle in the border state dates back to 1967, when a small outfit called Sengkrak took up arms, the late ’80s saw the emergence of several insurgent groups, most of which are now defunct except for a small faction of the NLFT. It is claimed to be active in Bangladesh.
Insurgency largely ebbed during the erstwhile Left Front government’s rule owing to lucrative offers such as an instant grant of Rs 1.5 lakh, vocational training and a Rs 2,000 stipend.
The BJP-IPFT government dealt a major blow to the already waning insurgency in 2019, when over 80 cadres of the NLFT’s Biswamohan Debbarma faction laid down arms.
Tripura shares an 856-km-long border with Bangladesh, patches of which are still unfenced.
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