AGARTALA, India, Jan. 8, Reuter: India will send 12 battalions to the northeast State of Tripura to crush tribal rebels who have killed 2,000 people in the last decade, the state’s police chief said on Thursday.

Nine people have been killed in the past two weeks by the Tripura. National Volunteers, fighting to expel nontribal immigrants from their remote hill state sandwiched between Bangladesh and Burma.

Police Director General, R.P. Sharma said the 10 paramilitary ‘and two army battalions would be the most powerful force ever fielded against the 300 or so rebels.

If fully staffed, the battalions could total up to 10,000 men but Sharma gave no figures.

The offensive was decided on after talks between Home Minister Buta Singh and Tripura Chief Minister Nripen Chakraborty, who heads of India’s three Marxist-led state governments.

Voting for the Tripura State Assembly is scheduled for February 2. Sharma said the extra troops were needed partly to safeguard polling.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 15, 1988