Forces in Tripura face public rancour

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Agartala
  • Published 1.11.04
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Agartala, Oct. 31: Resentment against the security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Tripura is on the rise despite the noticeable slowdown in militant activities in the state. Allegations of high-handedness and even downright betrayal are increasingly being levelled at the forces.

MLA Nagendra Jamatya, vice-president of INPT, issued a statement against the BSF accusing the jawans of ?cold-blooded betrayal?. He alleged that BSF jawans posted in Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura had betrayed a hardcore militant, who had surrendered with arms, by handing him over to the police as an arrested rebel.

Jamatya said the NLFT?s former finance minister Sujlang Jamatya had sneaked into Indian territory at Kanchanpur with his wife and infant daughter, and contacted BSF?s Vandarima border outpost on October 17 to surrender. He was kept in BSF custody for 10 days. But on October 27 he was handed over to the police in Kanchanpur as an arrested militant leader. Jamatya criticised the BSF?s move as ?violation of declared policy of the government?.

The September 30 killing of a tribal youth, Naresh Debbarma, in Tulasikhar under Khowai subdivision, by jawa-ns of the 6th battalion of the TSR is also snowballing into a controversy.

Yesterday, when West Tripura district magistrate J.K. Sinha reached Tulasikhar to probe the matter, a written complaint was submitted by nearly 2,000 tribals alleging Debbarma had been killed in cold blood.

INPT legislator Animesh Debbarma and former chief executive member of ADC, Debabrata Koloi, who were also present, threatened to launch a movement against the government if the guilty were not punished. Sources in the TSR refused to comment.