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Border vigil stepped up

- Though insurgency is on the wane, security concerns erupt because of the constituency’s proximity to Bangladesh

Agartala, April 10: Security has become a major concern during the election to the East Tripura (ST) constituency on Saturday, despite the decline in insurgency.

The state’s 856km long border with Bangladesh has been sealed and the BSF put on special alert to prevent infiltration from across the border.

The state election department has ordered deployment of additional two companies of TSR, along the state’s border with Mizoram.

Mizoram has witnessed considerable unrest over the voting by postal ballot of 11,500 Bru or Reang refugees stranded in six camps of North Tripura’s Kanchanpur subdivision over the past 17 years.

“This deployment is over and above the deployment of forces for the election on Saturday. We have experience of people from Mizoram having crossed the border to attack civilians here in North Tripura,” a source in the election department said.

There are also fears of trouble in the areas bordering Bangladesh.

Last Saturday, a group of Indian villagers in the Gournagar area under Khowai subdivision had rounded up three of a group of eight Bangla-deshi cattle lifters. Three were lynched and five had managed to escape. The bodies of the Bangladeshi cattle thieves were handed over to the BGB and police personnel from Chunarughat police station in Habiganj subdivision yesterday.

However, the authorities in Khowai received information about a possible retaliatory attack on Gournagar.

A group of three Bangladeshi criminals, Meer Hossain, Dilwar Hossain and Iman Hossain, all residents of Meeerpur village under Comilla district of Bangladesh, had trespassed into Indian territory at Tarapukur under Sonamura subdivision around 3pm today.

They asked an Indian shopkeeper, Abdul Razzaq, to give them cigarettes on credit but the shopkeeper refused.

When they threatened Razzaq, his son and other villagers near the shop chased them away.

However, within an hour, the trio returned and one of them fired at Razzaq who ducked the bullet.

The trio, however, escaped.

The officer in-charge of Sonamura police station, Narayan Saha, and commandant of BSF’s Dhanpur border outpost rushed to the spot.

“The BSF authorities contacted the BGB commandant of Bouabazar BOP Saikat Bashar and informed him of the incident, requesting him to take action. We do not know what has happened since then,” said Narayan Saha.

Sources in the election department said in view of the incidents along the border, the BSF have been put on special alert and security tightened all over East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

• Tripura East votes on April 12