Tripura militants recruiting youths: Manik Sarkar
Agartala: Tripura`s separatist outfits are recruiting youths and have camps in Bangladesh though the security forces of the neighbouring country are cracking down on them, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Friday.
"Currently, there are about 18 camps belonging to outlawed NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) militants in various parts of Bangladesh, specially southeastern region of that country," Sarkar told reporters.
"The NLFT leaders are recruiting youths to strengthen their outfit and to carry out violence in the state."
According to the chief minister, there is no camp at the moment in Bangladesh of the ATTF (All Tripura Tiger Force) -- another militant outfit.
"Of Tripura`s 856-km border with Bangladesh, 130 km remains unfenced. The extremists take advantage of the state`s terrain, dense forests and unfenced boundaries to conduct their trans-border movements," Sarkar added.
He said the 14th Finance Commission team (which visited the state Nov 12-14) has appreciated the Tripura government for successfully taming the four-and-half-decade-old terrorism in the northeastern state.
During deliberations with the finance panel, Tripura demanded Rs.232 crore to develop infrastructure for the security forces -- specially the Tripura State Rifles, an elite counter-insurgency force constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism.
Director General of Tripura Police C. Balasubramaniam earlier this week said the militants of various separatist outfits go to the neighbouring country for training and come back to carry out violence in the northeastern region.
"Taking advantage of the hilly terrain, thick forests and unfenced border, northeast militants trained in the Bangladesh camps cross over into Indian territory," he said.
"Extremists are suffering a severe financial crunch. The outfit`s lower-level cadres are frustrated as they are not getting the due financial share and other facilities, forcing them to surrender to the security forces of Tripura," the police chief said.
Tripura`s two militant outfits - NLFT and the ATTF, both banned by the Indian authorities - had set up bases in Bangladesh along with the other outfits of the northeast, and receive support from other separatist outfits of the the region.
They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India.
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