BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Wednesday, 10 May, 2000, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Hostages released in Tripura

By Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta

Separatist rebels in the north-east state of Tripura have begun releasing hostages taken before tribal council elections earlier this month.

Five relatives of Communist candidates have been set free in the past 24 hours.

Rebels of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) had kidnapped family members of seven candidates of the ruling Left Front, to force them to withdraw from the elections.

The NLFT had threatened to kill the hostages if the Left candidates did not withdraw in favour of candidates of a smaller tribal party, the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).

The IPFT emerged victorious in the polls winning 18 seats in the 30-member council and the NLFT has now started releasing the hostages.

Relatives held

The rebels began by releasing Parbati Reang, the wife of Manindra Reang, who contested the Kalsi seat in south Tripura as the Left Front candidate.

He won despite what the Left described as massive terror unleashed by the NLFT.

Sarbajay Reang, the 68-year-old father of the Left candidate from Jampui hills, Rajendra Reang, was also released along with two other family members.

Dhananjoy Debbarma, the father of Left candidate Hari Debbarma of Mandai constituency, was also released.

Police said some more relatives of the Left candidates are likely to be released later in the day.

Terror charge

The Left Front spokesman, Gautam Das, told the BBC that the IPFT victory was made possible by the NLFT's terror campaign, which involved large scale intimidation of voters and tremendous pressure on the Left candidates.

This, he claimed, effectively restricted the candidates' movements.

The IPFT denies the charge, saying the Left has become irrelevant in the tribal areas of Tripura which, it says, explains their defeat in the council elections.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
South Asia Contents

Country profiles
See also:

14 Apr 00 | South Asia
Three killed by Tripura rebels
24 Mar 00 | South Asia
Tripura rebels kill five
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories