September 8, 2021 10:13:19 pm
Fresh clashes between workers of the ruling BJP and Opposition CPM in Tripura left ten persons injured, two party offices gutted, a few others vandalised and at least six vehicles set on fire.
The violence was reported Wednesday at Udaipur in Gomati district, Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district, Hapabia and Melarmath areas of West Tripura district, where the Communist party’s state headquarters, Sadar organizational district headquarters and a local party office were purportedly attacked. The police issued lathi charge and burst tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. On Tuesday, clashes between workers of the two parties were reported in Dhanpur and Bashpukur villages of Sepahijala district.
An official at the Tripura Police headquarters said preliminary reports have come from all three places where clashes are learnt to have occurred.
“Full assessment is yet to be done. Around six vehicles including three cars and a few motorcycles were burnt at Agartala. Party offices at Bishalgarh and Hapania were gutted. A party office at Udaipur district came under attack. A youth named Mafiz Miah was injured there. A case was booked on the incident and two persons were arrested,” said a senior officer who added that suo motu cases are also being registered.
At a press conference Wednesday, Tripura Left Front convener Bijan Dhar said, “We had a party meeting at Bishalgarh. On our way back, we learnt that BJP cadres got a bulldozer, tore down our district party office gate there, broke open the doors and set it ablaze. Our party leader Partha Pratim Majumder’s house was ransacked as well. Our youths organized a rally demanding jobs at Udaipur but the rally was halted by the police despite having prior permission. Our supporters staged a road blockade. There was a huge tension and the local district headquarter was attacked.”
Dhar claimed the CPM Sadar organizational district committee office was ransacked and the party’s state headquarters at Melarmath in Agartala was attacked.
“They came inside the state headquarters. I was inside. I tried to stop them but they disregarded me, damaged party documents, smashed photo frames of our leaders, destroyed television sets and threatened us to stop our political activities. Some vehicles and motorcycles were set on fire in front of our office as well,” he said.
Terming the incident a “direct attack on democracy”, Dhar said the Left parties would work to “politically tackle” them. “We were in the movement of reviving democracy and we shall continue to do so,” he said.
The clashes also reportedly saw the offices of few local newspapers like Pratibadi Kalam and Daily Desher Katha, the CPM mouthpiece, and PB 24, a local televisional channel, being attacked.
Reacting to the CPM’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya claimed that his party workers didn’t attack anyone. Instead, seven BJP workers were allegedly assaulted by CPM activists.
“We have noticed that CPM leaders are involved in instigating violence in the state for the past few days. Former CM Manik Sarkar instigated his party cadres to attack BJP at Sonamura two days back. In Udaipur, one of our activists was attacked and injured today. Our women activists were attacked with bricks at our rally at Agartala today, as they were organizing a protest march against the violence at Sonamura”, he said.
On the alleged attack on Daily Desher Katha newspaper, Bhattacharya said, “We are sorry if it has happened. It might have happened by mistake. Our top leaders will discuss it and if it is true, required steps will be taken.”