In their first major strike in four months, the National Liberation Front of Tripura militants on Sunday gunned down 16 people, including a seven-year-old girl
and two women, at a market in West Tripura district.
Superintendent of Police (operations) Dhurjati Gautam said 12 people died on the spot and 13 were injured when two groups of NLFT ultras, clad in olive green uniforms, encircled the Singicherra Bazar and opened indiscriminate fire.
The bazaar was buzzing with Makar Sankranti shoppers.
Two persons died when they were being taken to the hospital and two more succumbed to their injuries while being treated.
Of the 16 dead 12 have been identified: Shreema Nath Sharma (7), Abu Nath Sharma (36), Megh Shabar (30), Balai Shabar (32), Mantu Paul (40), Malati Paul (45), Binod Paul (52), Nagendra Paul (65), Manindra Nandi (40), Paritoh Das (30), Babul Goswami (32) and Swapan Kotal Das (42).
DIG Range A K Shukla rushed to the spot with a large contingent of Tripura State Rifles and launched a massive search operation in the area.
The ruling CPI-M condemned the incident and called a dawn to dusk bandh on January 15 in Khowai subdivision in protest against the massacre.
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