Militants abduct two tribal students in Tripura

Agartala, July 31 (IANS) A banned separatist outfit kidnapped two tribal students at gunpoint from a border village in northern Tripura, police said here Wednesday.

"Armed NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) guerrillas abducted five tribal boys, including two students of class VIII, from their houses at Chawmanu Tuesday night," a police spokesman said.

The official said two hostages managed to flee from the militants' captivity.

The ultras released another youth, Nushajoy Tripura (22), with a ransom note directing each family of the Chawmanu village under Dhalai district to pay Rs.2,300.

"The NLFT guerillas have also demanded Rs.20 lakh from (legislator) Nirajoy Tripura for releasing the students," he added.

Police suspect the guerrillas might have taken the hostages - Kushajoy Tripura (15) and Dari Mohan Tripura (16) - to adjoining Bangladesh.

Senior police officers have rushed to the spot, 150 km north of here, along with reinforcements and launched a manhunt to nab the guerrillas and rescue the students.

Ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said the kidnapped boys belong to families that support the party.

The state government had earlier anticipated that NLFT and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) were likely to step up their activities as they were getting support from opposition parties.

According to police and Border Security Force officials, NLFT and ATTF have set up bases in Bangladesh along with other extremist outfits of the northeast and receive support from separatist groups of the region.

They have been seeking secession of Tripura from India.

Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, some of it unfenced and running through dense forests, making it porous and vulnerable.

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