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Nine NLFT rebels surrender arms

Agartala, Dec. 23: BSF jawans posted in Karbook under Gomati district bordering the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh secured the surrender of nine National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants yesterday.

The rebels were led by commander Suron Debbarma, 41, who was responsible for the massacre of 20 TSR jawans in an attack on August 20, 2002, at Hiracherra under West Tripura district.

The militants laid down one AK-47 assault rifle, a revolver and a grenade.

B.S. Rawat, deputy inspector-general, BSF, said the NLFT group led by Suron Debbarma, had been in touch with the BSF jawans over the past month to negotiate the surrender.

“They had been trying to come over and we agreed. Accordingly, they surrendered at our Karbook outpost,” Rawat said.

He said the surrendered militants were identified as Suron Debbarma, 41, his son Huku Debbarma, Budhijay Tripura, Subinath Tripura, Bhanu Debbarma, Adu Mog, Champa Kumar Tripura, Dhanaranjan Tripura and Manoranjan Tripura.

During interrogation, Suron Debbarma, who had once been a close lieutenant of the dissident NLFT leader Nayanbasi Jamatya, said, “It was the strict vigil in the NLFT hideout in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh that prevented us from escaping with more arms and ammunition.”

Rawat said Suron Debbarma had been moving with his group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and came over yesterday with advance information. “He and his colleagues are under interrogation in our battalion headquarters at Bagafa in South Tripura and he has already made major disclosures. He said the entire NLFT group in Bangladesh is reeling under a major resource crunch and many of the activists are keen to surrender,” Rawat said.

In a separate incident, two more listed NLFT rebels — Bishanjay Tripura and Paritosh Debbarma — laid down their arms at Ananda Hari Roaja Para village, 48km south west of Chhawmanu police station last night.

Nepal Chandra Das, deputy inspector-general (operations), said the two militants had reached the Ananda Hari Roaja Para police outpost last evening and surrendered to inspector Uddam Debbarma, with only Taka 800 in Bangladeshi currency.

“They are under interrogation and we hope to extract valuable information from them,” Das said.