Agartala, June 15 (IANS): Economic development helped defeat the four-decade-old insurgency in Tripura as did a crackdown by neighbouring Bangladesh on anti-India guerrillas, says the State's police chief.
"Development, largely coupled with the Bangladesh government's crackdown against Northeast India's rebels, helped Tripura to persuade tribal guerrillas to give up the path of violence," Director General of Police K Saleem Ali told IANS in an interview.
"Of the 66 police stations in Tripura, only three police station areas in the northern part - Kanchanpur, Chawmanu and Gandachara - have some militant presence. We will soon flush them out permanently," he said.
Ali said even during the peak of insurgency from 1996 to 2008, the developmental work did not stop. "Laying of the railway track up to Agartala remained uninterrupted with the help of Tripura State Rifles (TSR)," he said.
Tripura capital Agartala is the newest station of Indian Railways and came up on the country's rail map in October 2008. "There was a situation when the movement of officials, people and workers in the interior and hilly areas was not possible without security," he said.
"Besides development and sops to the needy, fencing along the India-Bangladesh border, modernisation and training of security forces and their incredible dedication made Tripura a model state in India in curbing the four-decade-old terrorism," the police chief said. "During the peak of insurgency, 9,000 of the total 26,000 police troopers were alert day and night to protect the lives and property of people," he said.
He also said modernisation of the police force boosted the confidence of the personnel.
Ali, who served in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for more than 14 years and in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) for four years, said the support of the ruling and tribal parties and locals was a key factor in combating militancy.