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Ahead of Assembly polls, Tripura ultra outfit regrouping: Police

 AGARTALA, May 16 (IANS): Ahead of the assembly elections, the banned militant outfit National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is trying to regroup to create disturbances, a top state police official said here on Tuesday.

The NLFT recently appointed Subir Debbarma as its President replacing Biswamohan Debbarma, who been made advisor, a top police official said quoting an intelligence report.

The official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the NLFT, based in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of southeast Bangladesh, is trying to regroup themselves to create troubles before the next year's assembly elections.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, addressing a public rally at Belonia in southern Tripura on Monday, also confirmed the change of leadership in the NLFT and warned of its resurgence.

"A section of political leaders belonging to opposition parties are trying to contact the new leader of NLFT to create violence ahead of the assembly elections. This clandestine plan is also to disture peace and on going development activities in the state," said Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio.

"The NLFT helped a tribal organisation to forcibly capture the politically important Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in 2000 after creating terror," he said.

The police official said that NLFT's new supremo Subir Debbarma alias Yamorok, a resident of Bargachia area in Mohanpur sub-division in western Tripura, was a long-standing member of the outfit. Arrested during a counter insurgency operation in 2013, he got released on bail and went to Bangladesh before joining the terrorist group once again.

"Subir's wife Minati Tripura is a teacher by profession and engaged in a school at Khagrachari in the CHT. They have two children," the official said adding that despite change in leadership in NLFT, the banned outfit is unlikely to withdraw its demand of sovereign Tripura.

The border state has, since 2009, emerged as an island of peace in the otherwise violence-prone northeastern region of India.

In 2015 and 2016, according to official and unofficial records no incident of militancy took place in Tripura while in a decade ago in 2005, 115 terror violent incidents took place claiming 130 lives while at least 65 civilians were abducted.

In 1998, outlawed militant outfits gunned down at least 360 people and kidnapped 390 men in 340 terror incidents.

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