The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christian Militants Kill 17 Soliders in Tripura


Tripura saw the year's worst bloodspill from militant attacks on Tuesday when an entire contingent of the 18 Territorial Army brigade was wiped out in an ambush set up by National Liberation Front of Tripura (Biswamohan) guerrillas in the early hours.

The gunbattle, which occurred in the deep interiors of Dhalai in south Tripura, also felled one militant while at least 15 AK-47 rifles, one light machine gun and a huge cache of ammunition were looted from the slain jawans. While 15 TA personnel were killed on the spot, an injured jawan died on the way to hospital. Another succumbed to his injuries in the hospital later.

Soldiers of the 119 TA Battalion (Assam Regiment) were deputed to cover personnel of the General Engineering Reserve Force (GERF) constructing the remote Ambassa-Amarpur stretch of a new national highway. Around 7 am on Tuesday, the jawans left their Kauamara camp in south Tripura district to head for Dangabari in the heart of Gandacherra sub-division in Dhalai district where the highway project was on. The two vehicles came under unrelenting fire around 30 minutes later at a point near Agumabari under Birganj police station, about 80 km south of Agartala, from guerrillas hiding on hilltop along the road.

Gunfire from heavy automatic rifles and several grenades were sprayed on the jawans, who returned the fire and felled one of the ultras. They were, however, ultimately outnumbered and killed. Unconfirmed reports claimed two GERF drivers were also killed.

Sources quoting villagers who saw the gunbattle said a heavily armed group of about 50 armed members of the banned NLFT(B) might have pulled off the ambush.


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