18 militants sent to eight-day police remand

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Agartala, Sep 15 (UNI) A local court here has sent 18 All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) militants to eight-day police custody and on Saturday they were handed over to BSF by Bangladesh Rifles as part of a goodwill gesture in the Khowai area.

Soon after their return to India, Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Tripura police had arrested them in connection with some previous crimes and anti-national activities and produced them before the court today.

According to reports, Bangladesh Rifles had raided ATTF hideouts at Satcherri in Bangladesh on October 10, 2004, and handed them over to Chunarughat Police Station across the border.

They had already completed their three-year jail term in Bangladesh two months back, police said adding that the court had asked the CID officials to interrogate them in four police stations of Agartala.

Bangladesh police had booked all the militants under the Arms Act and charge-sheeted them in the district and sessions court in Habiganj and subsequently sentenced them to three years' RI. At the end of the sentence two months back, the BDR decided to hand them over to the BSF.

Talks ensued between the BDR and their 61 battalion BSF counterparts posted on the bordering Khowai sub-division and all of them were brought to the Balla checkpost of Bangladesh where representatives of the BSF received them, said a senior CID official here.

The militants were identified as tribal and residents of Sadar, Khowai and Takarjala areas of West Tripura district who had joined the outfit after 2003 Assembly elections.

According to an understanding reached by the border forces of the two countries, criminals of one side sheltered in the other's territory, if apprehended, would be extradited, said BSF deputy inspector-general A K Singh and added it would strengthen relations between the two countries.

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