Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Saturday warned the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-BM) insurgents to release the kidnapped construction workers immediately or else he could even resort to “surgical strikes”. Suspected insurgents are said to have kidnapped three men working on an unfenced patch along the India-Bangladesh border in Dhalai district, 90 km away from here, four days ago.
Speaking at an event marking the 24th year of the Kalyanpur massacre at Khowai district, Deb said: “The Tripura government is like that of PM Narendra Modi’s. Like the PM knows how to do surgical strikes in Pakistan, we also know how to do surgical strikes. I reiterate that those involved in this (insurgency) should leave this path right away, or else every single one will be arrested within a year.” The Kalyanpur massacre took place on December 12, 1996, in which members of All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), another outlawed insurgent outfit, had killed 24 people.
Deb’s warning to the ultras followed the Tripura Police’s statement two days ago that coordinated operations are being conducted on both sides of the border to rescue the workers and that the Indian police and intelligence agencies are in touch with Bangladesh authorities.
The CM also said that the state and central governments have details of those involved in the kidnapping and said no leniency would be shown to insurgents.
“Extremism and gunbattles can’t go on in Tripura anymore; peoples’ mandate will get credence now,” the CM said, while adding dramatically: “Ek Ek Ko Chun Chun Ke Nikalunga (Will drive out each one of them).”
He also said a section of the insurgents are trying to revive terror through kidnappings but warned that the BJP-led state government would make no compromise with extremists. “Not an inch of land in the state would be allowed to be used by insurgents,” he said.
Deb said an extensive search operation is underway to rescue the kidnapped workers. “I have spoken with the Centre and Bangladesh authorities. I have received a positive response so far.”
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