AGARTALA, India, Jan.29, Reuter: Tribal guerrillas in northeastern Indian killed six members of a family on Friday while Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was campaigning nearby, police said.
Outlawed Tripura National Volunteers (TNY) gunmen shot dead a man, two women and three children of a Bengali settler family in Michuria village in Tripura, a rice, tea and jute growing state nearly surrounded by Bangladesh.
A few miles away in Kamalpur, Gandhi addressed a rally in support of his Congress (I) Party in State Assembly elections in Tripura and neighboring Meghalaya next Monday.
Police said one other Bengali was killed later in another nearby village, raising this month’s toll in the State to 39. About 70 people were killed last year in separateistrelated violence.
The TNV has waged a 10year campaign for independence and the expulsion of Bengali speaking settlers from the State.
Earlier on Friday, Gandhi told reporters in the State capital Agartala that Bangladesh had not kept a promise to suppress TNV guerrillas sheltering on its territory.
Bangladeshi officials in Dhaka denied they were sheltering guerrillas and reiterated their charge that India was giving sanctuary to Tribal rebels seeking autonomy for Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts. India has denied that charge.
In New Delhi, the Central Government declared the entire state of 20 million people a “disturbed area”, allowing greater use of the army. A previous government order has proclaimed border areas of the state as disturbed.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 5, 1988