In a major development, a tripartite Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed in New Delhi on Saturday between the Central and Tripura governments and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) facilitating to surrender of 88 terrorists of the banned outfit, an official release said.
After the signing of the MoS, the NLFT (SD) representatives called on Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. According to the official release, the MoS was signed by Union Home Ministry's Joint Secretary (North-East) Satyendra Garg, Tripura government's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Kumar Alok and Sabir Kumar Debbarma and Kajal Debbarma on behalf of the NLFT (SD faction).
"NLFT (SD faction) has agreed to abjure the path of violence, join the mainstream and abide by the Indian Constitution. It was agreed that the 88 NLFT cadres would surrender soon with their arms and ammunition," the release said.
The government also told the NLFT (SD) leaders that surrendered members of the outfit would be given surrender benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Union Home Ministry.
"The Tripura Government would help the surrendered cadres in construction of their houses, recruitment in government jobs, educational facilities to their children. The central government would consider the proposals of Tripura government to undertake economic development of tribal areas of the state, the release added.
The official release said the NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997 and has been involved in violence, operating from their camps across the international border.
According to the release, the NLFT has been responsible for violent activities including 317 terror incidents in which 28 security forces and 62 civilians were killed during the period 2005-2015.
It said the peace talks with the NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by the group since 2016. A top official of Tripura's Home Department said that the 88 extremists of the NLFT (SD) would likely surrender before the Tripura government on the Independence Day on August 15 in Agartala.
"The NLFT (SD) militants came to Tripura from their Bangladeshi camps earlier this month. The guerillas along with their family members now under the safe house of the security forces in Tripura's Dhalai district," the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
This is the third signing of the peace accord with the terrorists in Tripura in three decades. In 1988, the Union and Tripura government had signed a tripartite agreement with the outlawed outfit Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) and in 1993, the then Left Front government had signed a peace accord with the All Tripura Tribal Force (ATTF). After the signing of the two previous peace accords, over a thousand tribal guerillas surrendered to the government.