Construction in reserve forest on halt, Tripura govt starts verification process of ex-militants
CM Manik Saha during the review meeting of forest areas

Agartala: The ex-militants have halted illegal construction in the reserve forest areas of the Manu-Mangpui area following the Tripura government’s decision to start a verification process for all the families demanding a rehabilitation package, official sources told EastMojo.

On April 18, Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha reviewed the fresh complexities emerging in the Kanchanpur sub-division in the state at the civil secretariat. All senior officials, including Chief Secretary JK Sinha, DGP Tripura Police Amitabha Ranjan, PCCF KS Shetty, Principal Secretary to the revenue department Puneet Agarwal and others remained present in the high-level meeting held at the civil secretariat on Tuesday.

Speaking to EastMojo, Sub-divisional Magistrate Kanchanpur Rajat Pant said, “We have been directed by the higher authorities to start verification of their details. On Wednesday, a big team of officials visited the areas and started the survey work. We have told them to furnish all the relevant documents pertaining to their association with armed rebellion along with the time and venue of their surrender. As per the direction of the higher authorities, we have collected their data and accordingly, it will be forwarded to Agartala for further action.”

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When asked about the construction of bamboo huts in the reserve forest areas, he said, “In my previous visit dated April 11 last we had appealed to them to cease construction. Although they did not concede to our appeal instantly, in the last few days no structure has been built. That indicates they are lately responding to our appeals”.

On being contacted, SDPO Kanchanpur M K Chandrasekhar said, “Although Section 144 was imposed in the area initially, the prohibitory orders have been lifted and now things are going smoothly. From the security point of view, there are no threats and the situation is peaceful all across the area where encroachments have taken place”, the SDPO said. Sources said 1,235 families are claiming not receiving any benefits assured in the peace agreement they signed while joining the mainstream.

Some had been identified to be ex-militants associated with the proscribed Nationalist Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF). Locals of Kanchanpur, however, claimed that some surrendered militants of Bru Nationalist Liberation Front (BNLF) active in Mizoram and parts of lower Assam are also part of the deprived returnee groups demanding a proper rehabilitation package in the lines of internally displaced Bru migrants. 

Also Read | Tripura CM seeks details on forest land encroachment amid protests

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