Indian intelligence says that three workers kidnapped by NLFT rebels in Tripura’s Ganganagar region have been dragged to a base of the rebel group in Segunbagicha in Chittagong hill tracts.

This is not far from the Lakhacherra camp of 7 battalion of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

The three were dragged away between two Bheem and Biswas forward outpost of the BSF’s 138 battalion.

NLFT activists  Bikram Bahadur Jamatia alias Bomthom , Ramani Kolai alias Sanchai, Rangia Reang alias Chempai , Litan Jamatia alias Jaiba Kalai alias Chalai, Kawalal Kaipeng alias Kawalal and Suman Tripura alias Hero were involved in the abduction.

On the other side of the border at a place called Sonamura exists a camp of the ‘Shanti Bahini’ led by Santu Larma.

But Indian intelligence and BSF say the Bahini has no role in the abduction.

“This is an NLFT job and we are in touch with Bangladesh counterparts to track them down,” said a BSF official.

On Monday, National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants kidnapped the three workers from Ganganagar in eastern Tripura’s Dhalai district.

The NLFT extremists kidnapped supervisor Subhash Bhowmik, excavator driver Subal Debnath and worker Ganapati Tripura at gunpoint while they were at work.

Tripura Police had suspected the involvement of the NLFT militants, but now it is confirmed they have taken away the captives into Bangladesh territory.

A huge contingent of the security forces led by Dhalai district police chief Kishore Debbarma rushed to the bordering area and launched a combing operation to nab the guerrillas and rescue the three people.

The National Building Construction Corporation run by the Centre was given the task to erect barbed wire fencing at the international frontiers to check border crimes and infiltration bids.

On November 27, 35-year-old Litan Nath, a small trader, was abducted at gunpoint by the terrorists from Joyrampara, a remote village along the Tripura-Mizoram inter-state border.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Tripura State Rifles and the police are continuing with the search operations to rescue Nath.

On the request of Tripura police, the security forces of Mizoram have also launched a search operation to locate the captive and nab the militants.

Nath’s wife told the police that some heavily armed militants raided their house and looted jewellery, cash and abducted her husband.

The police said that the abductors also demanded Rs 1.5 lakh as ransom for the release of Nath.

The resumption of the NLFT depredations points to the survival of the leadership nucleus that has outlasted fierce counterinsurgency operations by Tripura police and a crackdown on northeastern rebels in Bangladesh after PM Hasina came to power.

Subir Bhaumik

Subir Bhaumik is a Kolkata-based senior journalist. He can be reached at: sbhaum@gmail.com