As normalcy returns, Tripura withdraws security escorts on NH 44

     With the security situation improving and insurgency showing signs of abating, the Tripura Government has scrapped the convoy escort system along the 70 kilometre stretch of the Assam-Agartala National Highway 44. Since 1993, vehicles have not been allowed to ply without security escorts through the Assam-Agartala national highway 44 due to militant activities. The highway lies between Chakmaghat in West Tripura District and Manu in Dhalai District. ”It was in practice for the last 16-years almost. And the reasons for withdrawing the convoy is that now we have gained confidence, the problem of extremism is in control and the moral of the extremist groups is very low, lots of surrenders have taken place and they are a daily phenomenon,” said A. Chaturbedi, Inspector General of Police of Tripura During the past year, around 200 militants of All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), including some ultras carrying rewards of Rs.250, 000 each and Interpol arrest warrants for them, fled their camps in Bangladesh and surrendered to authorities in Tripura. Tripura shares an 856-km international border with Bangladesh on all its three sides, and the NH 44 is the only highway that connects the state with the rest of the country through Assam . The restricted and slow movement of vehicles along National Highway has hampered the economy to a great extent. It is expected that the removal of the escort system will boost business activities in the state. People from all walks of life have welcomed the decision to withdraw of highway security escorts. “Since the escorting of vehicles has been withdrawn now we will be able to move from here to other parts of India faster. The necessary items of daily requirement shall now reach in the state in less time and the prices will also come down. Students like me can now move to and fro between their house and college even if the distance is a long one,” said Barist Reang, a student in Tripura “This is a big help for us as we shall now be able to move faster on this road and save time and make profit. We welcome this move,” said Amar Singh , a lorry driver. Meanwhile, to avoid any untoward incidents, patrolling by paramilitary troopers along the National Highway and static deployment at certain strategic locations have been intensified.

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