FOUR KILLED IN REBEL ATTACKS 

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By FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT in Agartala
  • Published 26.06.00
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Agartala, June 26 :     Four persons were killed and 20 injured in separate incidents today as militants launched a fresh offensive, triggering attacks on tribals by non-tribals in Teliamura of West Tripura district. In view of the escalating violence and possibility of militant attacks on Teliamura market, district magistrate (West Tripura) Manish Kumar imposed indefinite curfew on the entire Teliamura police station area from noon today. Senior police officials including inspector-general of police (law and order) K. Salim Ali have rushed to Teliamura. Till reports last came in, ethnic tension had gripped the Teliamura and adjoining Kalyanpur police station areas. Police sources said a non-tribal farmer, Girindra Biswas, a resident of Koroiling village under Teliamura police station, went to his deserted ancestral village of Dhanchakma at 7 am today to inspect the paddy fields. He was waylaid by a group of National Liberation Front of Tripura militants and hacked to death. The news of the killing reached Teliamura around 10 am, triggering ethnic tension. Sources said a large number of people including tribals had gathered in Teliamura as it was market day there. Irate Bengalis armed with primitive weapons attacked the tribals and lynched two of them. They are yet to be identified. At least 20 other persons, including three Manipuri truck drivers mistaken to be tribals, were seriously injured in the attack. Eight of the injured were rushed to G.B. Hospital here. The sources said timely intervention by officers and policemen of Teliamura police station prevented further violence although gangs of Bengali youth prepared to attack nearby tribal-dominated villages. Police escorted 70 tribals into Teliamura police station and kept them in safe custody. As news of the incidents in Teliamura reached tribal-dominated interior areas, a large number of armed tribal youth of Mungiabari village prepared to march to Teliamura but were prevented from doing so by the police. The help of Border Security Force jawans based in Khasiapunji area near Teliamura was sought for the operations in the interior areas while the entire Teliamura market was handed over to the Central Reserve Police Force. "The situation is tense but under control," the sources said. In a separate incident this morning, suspected All-Tripura Tiger Force militants shot dead a 35-year-old tribal farmer, Anil Debbarma, in remote Borakha area under Jirania police station in Sadar (East). Police sources said the slain farmer had gone to his father-in-law's house in Patni village along with his wife. At around 7.30 am, when the couple was returning home, a group of Tiger Force rebels shot Anil Debbarma dead though his wife managed to escape. Sources said a dispute over monetary transactions might have led to the killing.