Naga rebels kill six in Bangladesh camp, held at Tripura border


Agartala : Five militants of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), who had allegedly killed six of their colleagues, were detained while while they were crossing the Bangladesh border into Tripura, officials said Monday.

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A large cache of arms and ammunition, including five AK-series rifles and some grenades, as well as Bangladeshi currency were found with the terrorists, aged 21 to 24 years, who were detained late Sunday by troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF).

“Following a crisis of food and other essentials, NSCN-IM cadres engaged in a gunbattle with their superiors at their camp at Ghagrachari in eastern Bangladesh Saturday. Killing six senior NSCN-IM militants, they deserted their camps and tried to come to India before they were apprehended by the BSF,” a senior BSF official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Naga militants tried to cross the India-Bangladesh border through Chetlang in northern Tripura, 185 km north of here, but BSF troopers intercepted them in a surprise action, added north Tripura district police chief Arjun Debbarma.

They had been handed to police and produced in a local court.

The Tripura government has informed Nagaland and asked that the five be taken back to the state. They had joined the NSCN-IM four years ago.

“A team of Nagaland police is likely to come to Tripura soon to take back the militants,” Debbarma told IANS over the phone. He refused to disclose details of the interrogation of the Naga rebels.

New Delhi had signed a ceasefire pact with the NSCN-IM in 1997. The truce has been extended every 12 months since then.

In July, police in Tripura had arrested seven members of the Manipur based People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), including their self-styled army chief Mohammad Abdur Rahman from Agartala.

According to Tripura Director General of Police Pranay Sahay, the NSCN-IM had formed the PULF in 1995.

Police in Manipur had taken custody of the PULF guerrillas.