Agartala, Jan. 24: All Tripura Tiger Force supremo Ranjit Debbarma today declared his resolve to continue the struggle for “liberation of Tripura” while denying that he had surrendered to police.
Stating that Bangladeshi authorities had handed him over to Tripura police by establishing contact in advance, he said, “I am determined to continue the struggle for liberation of Tripura and I will do so once I get out of custody.”
Debbarma was produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate Biswajit Palit here today and was remanded in eight days’ police custody in response to plea made by the police through the assistant public prosecutor, Tapan Saha. “The police want him in custody for interrogation in connection with a large number of cases of killing, abduction and extortion,” Saha said.
Police sources here said Debbarma was wanted in connection with major massacres of non-tribal people like the murder of 18 unarmed non-tribals in Panchabati market under Sadar (north) in December 1999, killing of 21 men, women and children at Simna colony in Sadar (north) in May 2003, massacre of 26 non-tribals in Bazar colony area of Kalyanpur in Khowai subdivision in December 1996, Kalyanpur market massacre in June 2000, killing of more than 100 non-tribals in Bagber area under Kalyanpur police station in May 2000 and the earlier killing of non-tribals in February 1997 in different parts of Khowai subdivision.
“But the most potent cases against him are the abduction and death in Tiger Force custody of tea planter Yogabrata Chakraborty in June 1996 despite payment of a huge ransom of Rs 30 lakh and the abduction and year-long captivity of CPM MLA from Simna, Pranab Debbarma,” an official in the special branch (intelligence wing) of state police said. “We will pursue all these cases against him and he will have to face the court.”
The Opposition Congress and INPT, however, have expressed grave reservations over the arrest of Debbarma yesterday and the recent surrender of leading National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) commander Suren Debbarma in South Tripura.
“We are convinced that the CPM had a hand in bringing Debbarma across the border to Tripura and in securing the surrender of Suren Debbarma to influence voters before elections. They make baseless allegations against Congress and INPT but now everybody should see what the CPM is capable of,” said PCC member Lalit Mohan Sharma.