And when the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) killed 20 jawans of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR)—the armed wing of the Tripura Police—in a surprise attack on August 20, it became clear that the fears of the LF leaders were genuine and that they weren’t victims of paranoia. The ambush has been described as the "most daring one in Tripura" in the past three years. The NLFT also took away 17 self-loading rifles, a light machine gun and a huge crop of ammunition from the TSR truck.
The police top brass were stunned by the ferocity of the onslaught. Superintendent of police (West) Anurag Dhankar said 25 personnel, including two ailing riflemen, were headed for Bishramganj when the militants "unleashed a volley of gunfire from paddy fields on either side of the road". The militants, as usual, escaped into Bangladesh just 20 km away.