News Alert

Political ambition leads militant chief in jail

Correspondent

Agartala, November 19, 2017: Self-styled President of All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) Ranjit Debbarma who was acquitted from all charges by the trial court after his arrest in 2013 was now facing sedition charge. The leader of almost nonexistent tribal militant outfit is currently lodged in jail at end of two subsequent remand in police custody after his arrest on November 11. 

Debbarma known for his die-hard ‘anti Bengali refugee’ posture which was more evident in series of massacre of nontribal residents ATTF committed between 1996 and 2002 was detained for speaking against ‘national unity and ethnic harmony’ at a tribal convention in Duski of west Tripura on November 7. The programme was convened under banner Tripura United Peoples Council (TUPC) – a political platform he created last month along with mostly surrendered extremists.

Ranjit Debbarma, 56, whom Bangladesh security forces picked up and handed over to Indian authorities in 2013 was first held under National Security Act with sheer intention to keep him in custody without trial at least for a year to enable investigators to frame charges against him. His spouse Kajal Debbarma and daughter are still in Bangladesh.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in a statement in recently held state assembly justified arrest of Debbarma who allegedly tried to create discord between tribal and non tribal communities. While speaking he revealed that Ranjit Debbarma in a letter informed him about longing of his wife and daughter to give in to Indian authorities and lead a normal life.

Manik Sarkar received the letter in May last and he immediately sought advice from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), but latter did not respond. Ranjit Debbarma made a separate appeal to the MHA on the issue, sources said.

Number of surrendered extremists representing several militant groups is quite a large and Ranjit Debbarma was hectically trying to unite them under TUPC. Political quarters were alarmed over its sudden appearance ahead of assembly elections due in February 2018.

“TUPC is the only reason for current plight of our leader. His arrest is completely politically motivated”, a close aide of ATTF leader alleged.