‘No regrets’: 88 NLFT militants surrender in Tripura after PM Modi’s peace call
The surrender came after the pact was signed between NLFT’s Sabir Kumar Debbarma and Kajal Debbarma and joint secretary of the ministry of home affairs Satyendra Garg and Tripura’s additional chief secretary (home) Kumar Alok on August 10 in New Delhi.Updated: Aug 14, 2019 10:47 IST
Eighty-eight cadres of the banned rebel outfit National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) surrendered along with their arms in the northeastern state’s Dhalai district on Tuesday, officials said, as part of an agreement with the Centre.
The surrender came after the pact was signed between NLFT’s Sabir Kumar Debbarma and Kajal Debbarma and joint secretary of the ministry of home affairs Satyendra Garg and Tripura’s additional chief secretary (home) Kumar Alok on August 10 in New Delhi.
Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb welcomed the decision of NLFT cadres to surrender and assured them of providing all facilities under the rehabilitation policies of the Union home ministry.
“Their surrender proves that they were in the wrong path since long. Today, I welcome the surrendered members of NLFT who have returned back to the mainstream. I express my gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah for taking this step,” Deb said after the surrender of the NLFT members.
“No development of the indigenous community was done earlier. But our government will work for the development of the indigenous in the sector of education, employment etc,” the chief minister added.
Deputy chief minister Jishnu Devvarma, newly-elected MP Rebati Tripura and others were also present during the programme.
Sabir Debbarma said after surrendering that they responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for peace.
“But we don’t have any regret for taking up arms as we did it for the welfare of the tribal people,” he said.
The Union home ministry had said last Saturday that the Tripura government “will help the surrendered cadres in housing, recruitment, education.”
“Government of India will consider the proposals of Tripura State Government regarding the economic development of tribal areas of Tripura,” it said.
The NLFT has been responsible for violent activities including 317 insurgency-related incidents in which 28 security forces and 62 civilians lost their lives during 2005-2015.
NLFT was banned in 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and then under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
The outfit was floated by Dhananjoy Reang on March 12, 1989, with an agenda of a sovereign Tripura. Reang was later overthrown from NLFT in 1993 and Nayanbasi Jamatia took his place. In 2001, the NLFT split to form another faction headed by Biswamohan Debbarma.
The faction led by Nayanbasi surrendered before the state government in 2004. Now, the Biswamohan faction is only the active militant outfit.
The outfit’s Biswamohan group was in peace talks with the government since 2015.
First Published: Aug 14, 2019 10:47 IST