Militants trying to reorganise in Tripura: Ex-CM Manik Sarkar

Expressing concern, former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has said that militants were trying to reorganise themselves in some parts of the state, and this should be crushed immediately.

Speaking to reporters at the CPI(M) party office here, Mr. Sarkar said the insurgents maybe were trying to revive their operations with an eye on the upcoming elections of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC).

“I have noticed that in certain areas in Khowai district, Lefunga in West Tripura district and Panisagar subdivision in North Tripura, which has a border with Bangladesh, the militants are trying to reorganise themselves.

This is a matter of concern and this should be crushed immediately,” he said on Friday.

Mr. Sarkar claimed that the insurgency could be crushed in the state due to the policies and programmes of the previous Left Front government.

In our time, the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) simply ceased to exist and their total arms and ammunition were taken away either by Bangladesh security forces or other militant groups who were hiding Bangladesh,” he said.

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) was also crushed during the 20-year Left rule in the state, the Leader of Opposition said.

It is worrying that they are trying to revive their operations, perhaps they are targeting TTAADC elections,” he added.

Mr. Sarkar said that his party CPI(M) wants the elections to be held in a free and fair manner at the earliest.

“The tribal council was dissolved on May 17 and the governor could have given a year’s extension to the incumbent council but he did not do so. In any case, we want the elections to be held in a smooth and peaceful manner at the earliest,” he said.

The executive committee of the TTAADC was dissolved on May 17 as elections could not be held within its tenure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Ramesh Bais appointed an administrator.

Mr. Sarkar, a Politburo member of the CPI(M), expressed grave concern over the COVID-19 situation in the country as well as in the state.

He said that decisive actions should be taken in consultation with experts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

What is most regrettable is that the COVID crisis has pushed the poorer sections of people, including the migrant workers, to the brink. They have lost their livelihoods and are not being provided with new means of income. Even our demands for free ration for six months and a cash grant of Rs 7,500 per family have not been fulfilled by the Centre or the states,” Mr. Sarkar said.

Mr. Sarkar said that the CPI(M) was not opposed to the idea of lockdown and it appeals to people to maintain physical distancing but the total collapse of all activities due to the restrictions will ultimately lead to the collapse of the economy and suffering of the people.

He also demanded that doctors, nurses and paramedics be sent by helicopters to the remote areas of the state to take care of the situation there.

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