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Surrendered guerrillas in Tripura demand rehabilitation

By The Assam Tribune

Agartala, April 22 (IANS): Surrendered tribal guerrillas in Tripura on Thursday organised a road blockade and a hunger strike demanding that the government make good on its promise of rehabilitating them.

"We will launch an indefinite hunger strike if the State government does not fulfill our demands, including the one to rehabilitate the surrendered militants," president of joint action committee (JAC) Danniel Debbarma told reporters.

The Thursday protest, initially planned to last 48 hours, was withdrawn one hour after its launch in the morning after senior officials assured the surrendered tribal extremists of holding a meeting with them April 27.

"When we launched a 48-hour hunger strike on Thursday morning at Teliamura on the Assam-Agartala national highway, senior civil and police officials came to the spot, 40 km north of Tripura capital Agartala, and promised us to hold a meeting on April 27 to settle our demands," said Debbarma.

The April 27 meeting would be held between Tripura Tribal Welfare Minister Aghore Debbarma and leaders of the JAC, formed by the surrendered tribal guerrillas.

According to JAC supremo Danniel Debbarma, over 700 surrendered tribal guerrillas were yet to be rehabilitated.

West Tripura District Magistrate J.K. Sinha in a statement said the state government has already fulfilled most of the demands and provisions incorporated in the agreements signed with the surrendered guerrillas.

The guerrillas surrendered to the Tripura government at different times in the past few years.

According to official documents, since 1993 over 8,075 tribal guerrillas surrendered to the Tripura government.

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