Khowai police unearth landmines (India)
Agartala: Policemen of Champahaor police station under Khowai subdivision recovered five landmines and three improvised self-loading rifles (SLRs) last night. The arms were hidden by rebels for possible attacks on security forces and civilians.
Experts of the state police defused the landmines while the improvised high-calibre SLRs were sent to the police armoury.
The seizure has raised the spectre of fresh militant attacks in Khowai subdivision where the banned All Tripura Tiger Force rebels have been trying to regroup their cadres.
According to the police, acting on a tip-off, a combined force of the police and Assam Rifles (15 battalion) jawans, led by circle inspector (Khowai) Rangadulal Debbarma, had launched a search operation to flush out a group of Tiger Force militants.
The rebels were hiding in Bansibari village under Champahaor police station since yesterday morning.
After the daylong search, the police and Assam Rifles jawans found a jungle hideout of the militants around 7 pm. A source said the hideout was empty as the militants had fled, having realised that the security forces were giving chase.
The search operation is still continuing to nab the rebels but so far no arrests have been made.
A source said a group of 18 heavily armed Tiger Force rebels had been camping in the Bansibari jungles but they had avoided a confrontation and fled the area.
"What causes concern is the seizure of landmines. These have caused loss of many lives in Tripura over the past 12 years of insurgency," a source said, adding that the security dragnet will be tightened to prevent any possible attacks in future and use of destructive devices like landmines.
In a separate incident, the police nabbed two rebels belonging to the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and Tiger Force from Jirania police station area under West Tripura and from Ganganagar police station area under Dhalai district.
According to the police, Dharmaram Reang, a listed NLFT rebel, had been nabbed yesterday morning from his father-in-law's house at Sukrambari under Ganganagar police station.
Tiger Force rebel Ranjit Debbarma was nabbed from Bhrigudasbari village under Jirania police station yesterday afternoon, the police sources added.
A source said both the banned outfits were trying to launch a fresh offensive in different parts of the state.
Von: 9.5.2006 www.telegraphindia.com