Five LF leaders kidnapped on poll eve in Tripura

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Agartala, Feb 23 (UNI) The outlawed BNCT militants, a breakaway faction of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), kidnapped five CPI(M) workers in Dhalai district of North Tripura in separate incidents on the eve of the Assembly polls.

Police said the militants abducted a CPI(M) leader and village committee member from remote Bhagirathpara under Raimavelly constituency last night and four other CPI(M) activists, including a party-polling agent, were abducted from Chowmanu constituency area early yesterday.

Superintendent of Police (Operation) Nepal Das said operations had been launched to rescue the kidnapped people but nothing could be achieved so far. Besides security deployment in polling booths, extra forces had been deployed in some interior pockets to ensure free and fair polls, he maintained.

Earlier, on February 20, a group of unknown miscreants had assaulted 45 CPI(M) supporters at Kalyanpur in west Tripura when they were returning from a party meeting.

''NLFT militants, in association with the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal-based Opposition party, have been terrorising our supporters to keep them away from voting,'' Left Front spokesman Goutam Das said, while AICC in-charge of the Northeast Prithiviraj Chavan alleged that the Left Front was intimidating the Opposition voters and trying to create panic.

Incidentally, the INPT is fighting today's polls in alliance with the opposition Congress.

Meanwhile, three NLFT militants surrendered before Tripura State Rifles yesterday in Mandai area in the interior of Agartala and deposited two grenades, one factory made improvised .32 revolver along with other ammunition.

UNI BB DPM PL RD 1105

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