Agartala: Twelve guerrillas of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) accompanied by 19 family members, including eight children, have surrendered to the Tripura police along with their arms and ammunition on Monday.
The militants laid down arms before the Director General of Police (DGP) K Nagaraj in the police headquarters in presence of the senior officials.
"Preliminary information what they have given us is that they are disgruntled with their leadership. The leadership is self-seeking; they are not interested in the welfare of the cadres and the leadership has also been promising about the talks (with the government) but the talks are not progressing, they are not leading to any direction so they got fed up and said that they want to come back to normal life," said Nagraj.
"They also have said that the extremist movement has not helped in any way to improve the condition of the tribals. In fact they feel that the government is doing a better job of spreading development in the interior areas. That is the reason that they come out and expect most of the cadres have come from the NLFT headquarters at Sapcheri under Rangamati in Bangladesh."
Ten NLFT militants along with their two associates fled their Bangladeshi hideout last week and crossed over to Tripura before surrendering to the superintendent of police (special branch) Arindam Nath on Sunday in Tripura`s border village Bhandarima.The militants were accompanied by 20 family members, including eight children, he said.
The militants were brought here late Sunday night and were being interrogated by police and intelligence officials followed by the official surrender today.
They deposited two self-loading rifle, one INSUS rifle, one G3 rifle and an AK-47 rifle along with six loaded magazines, two China-made grenades and a large cache of ammunition and sharp weapons.
The militants have been identified as Tarani Mohan Tripura alias Topreng, Holongsa Tripura, Benoy Tripura alias Bimal, Laxmanjoy Tripura alias Lalthang, Bijoy Debbarma alias Sunil, Mrityunjoy Aslong alias Mantha, Kusum Tripura, Debsing Reang, Majayram Reang alias Mukthang, Kushirai Reang and Unaram Reang alias Anilfaa, Jatanjoy Reang.
One of the surrender militants Holongsa Tripura said, "I do confess that I have committed mistake in my life. We led tough life in the camps but our officers do not care are staying as permanent resident of Bangladesh and have citizenship. We the soldiers do not get anything and so we thought what we could do and decide to come back."
"We did not contact with the BSF or Assam Rifles and we contact the SP SB. As far as I know there are around 25 more camps, mostly rest camps and all total 87 cadres. The head quarter is at Sapcheri," he added.
According to police, the NLFT was currently short of funds and the condition of the lower rank cadres was miserable, moreover, the frequent joint operations by the Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh in Rangamati and Khagrachari districts in mountainous southeastern Bangladesh are also creating a huge problem for the outfit in hiding and free movement.
The surrender was a big jolt for the NLFT especially at a time when the outfit is plagued by a funds crunch, disillusioned cadres and frequent rifts.
Members of NLFT and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) undergo arms training in hideouts and covert camps in various parts of Bangladesh, which shares an 856 km border with Tripura.
Banned in 1997 by the central government, the two outfits advocate secession of Tripura from India.
However, ATTF has become almost defunct due to the surrender of most of its cadres.
Tripura and Union Home Ministry officials held two rounds of talks last year with the NLFT after the rebel group expressed willingness to hold peace parleys.