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Top ATTF militant lays down arms before BSF

CNN-IBN
May 29, 2009 at 02:06pm IST

New Delhi: In the Northeast, top militant leader Sailendra Debvarma of the banned All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) has surrendered before the Border Security Force along the India-Bangladesh border.

Debvarma alias Judhiya decamped from his base at Niralapunji and he deposited an AK-47 rifle and a 9 mm pistol among other things with the DIG of the BSF.

Debvarma held the fifth most senior position with the ATTF which has relations with other Northeastern insurgent groups including the banned militant force of Assam, the ULFA.

SURRENDERING ARMS: Debvarma deposited an AK-47 rifle and a 9 mm pistol among other things with the DIG of the BSF.

He had joined them 15 years ago to fight for a separate tribal homeland but surrendered when he decided to return to mainstream finally returned to the main stream of Indian society.

NEW AGENCY ANI REPORTS

Sailendra said that the ATTF has relation with other north-eastern Indian militant groups like ULFA, UNLF, KLO, PLA and the banned militant force of Assam ULFA has been helping us in arms training.

"ATTF has relation with other north-eastern Indian militant groups like ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam), UNLF (United National Liberation Front), KLO (Kamtapur Liberation Organisation), PLA (People's Liberation Army) and the banned militant force of Assam ULFA has been helping us in arms training," said Sailendra Debvarma, the surrendered militant of ATTF.

He also mentioned that due to stringent law and order situation in Tripura, ATTF had no free access to cross over from Bangladesh regularly to collect taxes, subscription or ransom from the locals whereas in Bangladesh he and his associates had all freedom to move around.

Sailendra Debvarma disclosed that he and many others had initially joined militancy to fight for a separate tribal homeland, but on realising its futility, they had decided to return to the main stream of Indian society.

All cadres have been trained in the use of the latest arms and ammunitions at their training camps spread through out the neighbouring Bangladesh, which surrounds Tripura from three sides, from where they operate, he informed.

S S Chaatrath, Deputy Inspector General of Border Security Force before whom Debvarma surrendered, noted that at present a large part of Tripura's border with Bangladesh, where the militants happen to have their base camps, has been fenced and so no more the militants can shuttle across the border freely.

Hence they cannot operate in Tripura and this is one of the prime reasons for Debvarma's surrender, he added.

"His camp was located in this Srimangal area of Moulvi Bazaar district in Bangladesh. His camp is located at about five kilometres away from the border and we have been in touch with him to come to the mainstream and ultimately we succeeded," said S.S Chaatrath, DIG, BSF.

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