Northeast militants have camps in Bangladesh: Tripura CM
Notwithstanding Bangladeshi security forces' crackdown on separatist outfits from India's northeast, their camps still exist in Bangladesh, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Friday.
"At present, there are about 20-22 camps belonging to Tripura militants in various parts of Bangladesh," Sarkar said while addressing the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at the Silachari camp, 125 km from the state capital Agartala.
He said the militants of various separatist outfits of the northeast region go to the neighbouring country for training and come back to carry out violent activities in the region.
"Taking advantage of the hilly terrain, thick forests and unfenced border, northeast militants trained in the Bangladesh camps cross over into Indian territory. Some people from India are helping the extremists to unleash violence," the chief minister said.
Sarkar, accompanied by senior BSF, Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and administration officials, visited remote bordering areas of the state and held talks with the security personnel and local villagers.
Demanding deployment of more BSF troopers along the India-Bangladesh border, Sarkar, who holds the home portfolio, urged the people, BSF and TSR personnel to work in coordination to curb the terrorism in the northeastern state.
He said that some National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) extremists, led by Suren Debbarma, were trying to enter into the state from Bangladesh to create troubles before the assembly elections, scheduled to be held in February next year.
The chief minister directed the BSF to strengthen their vigil along the 856-km India-Bangladesh border in Tripura to foil the attempt of the extremists to sneak into the Indian territory.
Sarkar said the outlawed militants were giving slogan of "Swadhin Tripura" (independent Tripura). "Swadhin for whom and which Swadhinta (independence)," he asked, adding that due to terrorism developmental work has been badly affected in the remote and tribal-dominated areas.
"Since 1988 assembly polls, ahead of every election, the militants have been conducted violence killing many innocent people. However, this time the security forces are all set to deal with any eventuality," the chief minister added.
"Militants backed by non-Left political parties are trying to rear their heads ahead of the 2013 assembly elections and everyone, regardless of political ideology, should stand against this evil effort," said Sarkar.
Quoting the recently arrested militant leader Dhanu Koloi, he said the militant outfits are trying to engage tribal youths to revive their groups, collecting money to procure arms and create trouble before the elections. "Funds are being sent to militant camps in Bangladesh to procure arms and ammunition".
Tripura's two militant secessionist outfits - NLFT and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), both banned by the Indian authorities - have set up bases in Bangladesh along with the other outfits of the northeast, and receive support from other separatist outfits of the region.
They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India.