'Congress, INPT conspiring to oust Left in Tripura'
Agartala, June 25 (IANS) Leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) claimed here Monday that separatist outfits, aided by a section of opposition leaders, were conspiring to oust the Left parties from power in the Tripura assembly polls, scheduled for February next year.
"A Congress leader and the party's electoral ally INPT (Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura) are helping militant outfits in fresh recruitment of innocent tribal youths from the interior areas," CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar told reporters.
Quoting police reports on interrogation of arrested militants, Dhar said: "Like the 1988 assembly polls, the leaders of opposition parties are trying to use the underground militants to unleash violence ahead of the crucial assembly elections."
Ahead of the February 1988 assembly polls, the then militant outfit Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) had mowed down around 100 people. The CPI-M-led Left Front had been voted out in the polls.
Accompanied by the party's senior leader Gautam Das, Dhar said that arrested extremists recently told the police that they were planning to conduct a series of explosions and kill people to create panic to get political mileage against the ruling Left parties.
Congress leaders vehemently denied the CPI-M's allegations.
"No Congress leaders in any way are involved with the militants. CPI-M leaders have been pointing fingers at the Congress to cover up their misdeeds. As they would be voted out in the ensuing polls, the Left parties are getting nervous and making such wild allegations," Congress spokesman Ratan Chakraborty told IANS by phone.
Tripura Police June 16 arrested five National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants, including a woman, and recovered Rs.2.5 million in cash, electronic gadgets and some secret documents.
"The militants, who were arrested from a house on the outskirts of the city, were carrying money and electronic devices to pass on to their cadres in Bangladesh to procure arms. They have revealed vital information about the terrorists' possible activities in the coming months," a police spokesman told reporters here.
Dhar, also a CPI-M central committee member, referring to intelligence and media reports, said that the Tripura militant outfits, including the NLFT, have shifted their base from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
"The cadres of the banned NLFT and other groups have been using neighbouring Mizoram as their safe corridor to go to Myanmar. The Congress government in Mizoram is not taking any action against the terrorirts," the CPI-M leader claimed.
CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das said: "The Congress and its ally INPT have been trying to capture power in Tripura by using anti-national forces like terrorists. The opposition leaders are misguiding surrendered militants to rejoin the extremist outfits to disturb the peace and ethnic harmony in multi-ethnic Tripura."
The CPI-M has demanded immediate arrests of those opposition leaders who are helping the separatist outfits.
Tripura Police last week have also appealed to all surrendered militants, as well as youths to not heed the call of extremists.
In what is a first for Tripura, a statement from the state police headquarters said: "It has been revealed that NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) extremists are engaged in fresh recruitment of innocent tribal youths from the interior areas."
"The guerillas are also trying to extort money from different agencies with the help of a section of surrendered extremists and their sympathisers," the statement added.
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