Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Indian separatists 'surrendering'

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta


A number of separatist rebels from two states in the north-east of India are surrendering and handing themselves over to the authorities, police say.

They say that 46 rebels surrendered in the state of Assam on Tuesday allegedly because they were "tired with fighting underground" for years.

Another 28 separatists surrendered in the state of Tripura on Sunday.

Security officials say that the rebels are possibly demoralised by a loss of bases in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Serial explosions

Assam's police chief GM Srivastava said: "Bangladesh's new government... has sent out a clear message that the presence of anti-Indian separatist forces will not be tolerated.

"That is why perhaps these rebels are fleeing into India and giving up arms because without the safe sanctuaries in Bangladesh, they cannot hold out against our forces for a long time."

Police say that on Tuesday, 42 rebels of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and four from the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) surrendered in the state's western district of Baksa.

"We are tired of fighting and killing our own people," said the NDFB's Charan Basumatary after the surrender.

Police say the NDFB and Ulfa were responsible for a number of explosions in Assam last October in which nearly 100 people were killed.

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) rebels who surrendered in Tripura on Sunday said they had left their bases in Bangladesh in early December.

India has long alleged that a number of north-eastern separatist groups have bases in Bangladesh - a charge Dhaka has usually denied.

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