28 NLFT militants surrender in Tripura

Agartala, Jan. 12 : Twenty-eight hardcore militants of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) officially laid down arms during a surrender ceremony at the 21 Assam Rifles range head quarters in Agartala with arms and ammunition.

The militants informed that they had fled from their camps in the forest of neighbouring Bangladesh mainly for two reasons - food crisis in Bangladesh camps and non-payment by the leaders of the militant outfits to the down rang cadres.

They also feared that with the forming of the new democratic government in Bangladesh there are every possibility of raids and anti-insurgency operation against Indian militants harboring in Bangladesh.

One of the surrendered militant Gananta Reang (37), a self-styled Major in the NLFT (BM) said, "The area where in Bangladesh we had our camp there were another 21 to
22 more camps. For our need like arms and training we have our contacts in Thailand, Pakistan, Mizoram and also in Bangladesh."

Another militant Kanchon Kumar Reang (25) who joined the NLF two years back and was a self-styled Lieutenant said, "In Bangladesh we can live freely, we can buy our daily required thing from the market. The Bangladesh Rifles soldiers and army do not disturb us, there may be some understanding at the higher level but they don''t catch us till we do not move in open with arms."

Kanchon added, "There are camps of other Indian militants like Boro, NSCN, KYKR. We live jointly as we have the same motto that we are guerilla. If required we go for joint training and also share weapons if there is a shortage."

The militants deposited a 7.62 SLR with one Magazine, 303 rifle, one 12 bore gun, four revolvers, grenades, live cartridges, magazine and Bangladeshi currency notes.

Brigadier S B Asthana to whom the militants surrendered on Monday said, "The militants surrendered as they are on a run always due to the counterinsurgency operations going on jointly by different security forces in Tripura. Moreover, as the militants are lost their popular support among the people they are now in shortage of fund and people."

Today''s surrendered has again proved that there are several caps of northeast militants in Bangladesh territory, though that nation denies it.

Reports say militants belonging to various rebel groups in the northeast have set up about 100 camps and hideouts in different parts of Bangladesh, especially in Sylhet district and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Meanwhile, with today''s surrender more than 70 militants including two top ranked ATTF cadres came back to the mainstream in Tripura in a week time. (ANI)