Monday, May 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

NLFT on killing spree, toll 45
Shoot-at-sight order issued

AGARTALA, May 21 (UNI) — National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) guerrillas gunned down seven more persons today taking the death toll to 45 in the ethnic and militant violence in the West district during the past 24 hours.

The police said here that NLFT rebels gunned down seven non-tribals at Ratia under Kalyanpur police station in West Tripura district’s Khowai subdivision today.

The heavily armed ultras had shot dead 25 persons and injured several at Bagber (Ghilatali) under the same police station area last night. Taking advantage of the absence of security arrangements, the ultras sprayed bullets and threw grenades indiscriminately on innocent men, women and children who had assembled there from the various violence hit areas of the Khowai subdivision.

The state government had sounded a red alert and asked the security forces to a maintain maximum vigil on the situation,

Militant violence and ethnic troubles had been rocking West Tripura for the past three days forcing the district authorities to impose an indefinite curfew at 4 p.m. yesterday.

Shoot-at-sight order had also been issued in the trouble-torn Khowai subdivision while the Assam Rifles and other central Paramilitary forces staged a flag march in the Kalyanpur and Teliamura police station areas.

Arson, attacks and counter attacks were still on in various parts of the subdivision as the security forces were recovering bodies from different places when the last reports came in.

A mass cremation was also organised by the authorities at Kalyanpur.

Meanwhile, Ethnic violence erupted yesterday when the outlawed United Bengali Liberation Front of Tripura killed five tribals and injured 11 others at Khagendra Colony in Khowai subdivision. The victims were travelling in a jeep when the UBLFT ultras hurled powerful bombs killing all the five persons on the spot.

In the retaliatory attack and counter attacks eight more persons were killed by the miscreants, violent mobs and tribal guerrillas in different parts of the Khowai subdivision in West Tripura and Baikhora in South Tripura district. The violent mob also burnt down a large number of houses in different places.

Top police, Assam Rifles, CRPF officials were closely supervising the security arrangement while the District Magistrate and other senior officials were monitoring the relief operation among the affected people. The Khowai subdivision areas had been witnessing a series of ethnic and militant violence since 1996.


Airlift forces, CM urges PM

NEW DELHI, May 21 (UNI) — Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and urged him to airlift paramilitary forces to the state which has been rocked by ethnic and militant violence.

According to sources, the Prime Minister had assured Mr Sarkar that he would convene a meeting with the Home and Defence Ministers to discuss the request from the state government.

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