Rajnath visits Bangladesh border in Tripura

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Agartala, Feb 14: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh accompanied by his deputy, Kiren Rijiju, visited the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura on Saturday and discussed issues with officials and BSF troopers.

The two ministers also met Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

rajnath indo-bangla border

"Rajnath Singh with Rijiju (minister of state for home affairs) and home ministry officials visited Khantlang in Tripura along the India-Bangladesh-Mizoram border," a Border Security Force (BSF) officer said.

The home ministers interacted with the BSF officials and troopers at the Khantlang border outposts (195 km from Agartala), along the Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

The militants set up camps in CHT and used the unfenced borders for their trans-border movements.

"Senior BSF officials briefed both the ministers about the border issues and militancy related problems," the BSF official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The home minister appreciated the BSF troopers for their role in maintaining security in the mountainous areas.

Earlier both the ministers accompanied by senior home ministry officials arrived here from Manipur, capital Imphal and left for the bordering areas by an Indian Air Force helicopter.

After visiting the border areas, the union ministers met Sarkar and senior state government officials in Agartala to chalk out a plan to repatriate the tribal refugees to Mizoram.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla was scheduled to attend the meeting but could not make it.

About 32,000 Reang tribals, locally called "Bru", are staying in seven camps in Tripura since October 1997 after fleeing their villages in Mizoram, following ethnic troubles after the killing of a Mizo forest official.

Home Ministry's Joint Secretary Shambhu Singh Jan 30 held a meeting in New Delhi with Tripura and Mizoram officials and discussed the repatriation of Mizoram's tribal refugees.

The Tripura government has been asking both Mizoram and the union home ministry to repatriate the tribal refugees to their homes in Mizoram.

IANS

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