Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar urged the central government to resume dialogue with Tripura terrorist outfits who have hideouts in Bangladesh.
“After the request of the outlawed NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura), the union government held three tripartite talks with the outfit and involved the state government. But over the last several months, there has been no progress on the dialogue. I urge the central government to restart talks with NLFT,” Sarkar told the state Assembly.
He said the state government got intelligence inputs that the NLFT would support the IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) if the latter contested the next Assembly elections due in February next year.
“We have established peace and tranquillity in the state after many decades of terrorism, but if the NLFT backs IPFT in the elections, it would be dangerous for the state.”
The tribal-based IPFT has been agitating since 2009 seeking upgrading of the existing Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to a separate tribal state.
The party had blocked National Highway-8, the lifeline of Tripura, and the lone railway line in the state for more than 10 days since July 10 over their separate state demand, causing an acute shortage of essential items and hardship to the people.
Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio, said in view of the current situation, the Centre must resume dialogue and settle the issues of the extremist outfit.
He said that the banned All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)’s former chief Ranjit Debbarma, who was pushed back by Bangladesh security forces into India a few years ago, was arrested on sedition charges on Saturday in Teliamura in Tripura’s Khowai district.
“Some incriminating documents were found with Debbarma. Those were seized. After four days of ongoing police remand, he would be produced in a court.”
The Chief Minister said Debbarma, without police permission, held a public meeting at Teliamura last week and challenged erstwhile princely-ruled Tripura’s merger with the Indian Union. He also aired anti-national views at the meeting.
At the end of the 517-year rule by 184 kings, on October 15, 1949, the erstwhile princely state came under the administrative control of the Indian government after a merger agreement signed between Kanchan Prabha Devi, then regent maharani, and the Indian Governor General.
Arrested by Bangladesh Police in 2012 as he was allegedly involved in a number of massacres, he was handed over to Indian authorities in January 2013. He was subsequently brought to Tripura and arrested.
He got a bail from the court in 2015.
Debbarma recently formed the Tripura United People’s Council involving surrendered militants of various former extremist outfits and demanded implementation of the government’s assurances given to the outfits during the signing of accords with different groups since 1993.