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Huge arms haul in Satcherri : 200 rocket launchers in the pile of weapons recovered from a former rebel base of All Tripura Tiger Force
TIWN /News, Photo credit to Rasel Chowdhury, bdnews24.com
Huge arms haul in Satcherri : 200 rocket launchers in the pile of weapons recovered from a former rebel base of All Tripura Tiger Force
PHOTO : RAB unearthed huge arms cache at Satcherri jungles in Bangladesh. Credit to Rasel Chowdhury, bdnews24.com

Habiganj, Bangladesh, June 3 (TIWN): RAB has unearthed a huge arms cache in the Satcherri jungles of Habiganj's Chunarughat upazila from what was once perhaps the headquarters of the now-weakened All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF).200 rocket launchers with as many chargers, some anti-tank shells, more than 200 mortar shells and many other weapons were recovered by RAB-9 personnel who started operations in the Satcherri jungles on Sunday, RAB officials said.

Satcherri is barely 3 kms from the border with India's Tripura state.

RAB's ADG (operations) Col Ziaul Ahsan and Legal-Media director Wing Commander Habibur Rahman both briefed the media on the operations and confirmed the seizures.
 
Ahsan said the 200-odd rocket launchers were found in one huge bunker alone. More weapons were found from other bunkers located on the hilltop overlooking the forest . 
 
Rahman said more than 100 RAB personnel were involved in the operations and while two bunkers were located on one hilltop, five were located on a second hill.
 
He said the operations started on Sunday night with the personnel from RAB-9 commanded by Mufti Mahmood encircling the whole Satcherri jungles. 
 
But Rahman declined comment when asked who had stocked this quantity of weapons at such a remote hill region. 
 
He said almost one-third of the weapons stocked in the bunkers have been recovered but more could be found .
 
Hi-tech detectors used by RAB were indicating to more weapons in the hilltops.
 
"The operation will continue for atleast two more days" , Rahman said.
 
The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has in the past used the ATTF's Satcherri base to stock up weapons that were finally smuggled into Northeast India for use by their fighters.
 
The ATTF is now weakened and its chief Ranjit Debbarma was handed over to India by Bangladesh where he was arrested in January 2013. 
 
Debbarma , who is standing trial in his home state Tripura on countless charges of murder and abduction, is very close to ULFA military wing chief Paresh Barua who has been awarded a death sentence in the 2004 Chittagong arms cases.

Barua , now absconding, is believed to hiding somewhere around Tengchong in the Sino-Burmese border.

The ULFA and ATTF would smuggle huge quantity of Chinese-made weapons through south-east Asia by sea, land them around Cox's Bazar or Chittagong take them to rebel bases like Satcherri , from where they would be smuggled into India's troubled northeast.
 
The recovery at Satcherri on Tuesday afternoon is perhaps the single biggest case of arms seizures since the 2004 Chittagong arms case.
 
The ATTF used to keep those they used to abduct for ransom in Satcherri.
 
Tripura's leading tea planter Yugabrata Chakrabarti died of renal failure in Satcherri's ATTF base when he ran out of medicines following his abduction.

The ATTF asked for 1 million Indian rupees even for returning his dead body to his family.
 
Indian military intelligence organised some renegade ATTF fighters in 2002 and staged a huge attack on the ATTF Satcherri base .
 
Several ATTF fighters were killed in that attack.
 

Following Sheikh Hasina's Awami League coming to power and the crackdown on the Northeastern rebel groups that followed, the ATTF demobilised its Satcherri base but there are reports they used it for moving weapons

TIWN File Photo : ATTF Supremo Ranjit Debbarma being taken to court at Agartala on January 29,2013

 

Note : Special thanks & Credit to  Journalist Rasel Chowdhury, bdnews24.com , Habiganj

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