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Tripura bandh called off after discussion with minister, FIR on students’ plaint

Students organisation says will wait for four days to see if govt orders magisterial inquiry, withdraws case against students, announces compensation for students ‘assaulted by police’

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: January 17, 2022 4:00:28 pm
The TSF had earlier expressed distrust in the police’s inquiry (File/Representational)

The Twipra Students Federation (TSF) late on Sunday withdrew its bandh call after a long discussion with Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs Sushanta Chowdhury, following which a complaint filed by two students allegedly assaulted by traffic police was registered. TSF’s Upendra Debbarma said on Monday morning that the minister had also promised legal action against the traffic personnel.

The call for Monday’s bandh was given on Sunday, a day after police ordered an inquiry into the alleged assault on two university students whose two-wheeler had broken down on a road through which the chief minister’s convoy was expected to pass. “Our main issue was the complaint filed by the assaulted students was not registered till yesterday. We also demanded a magisterial inquiry into the incident and better treatment for the assaulted students. It seems the CM entrusted minister Sushanta Chowdhury to talk to us. The FIR was lodged late night after our discussion. The government has also assured us to withdraw the case against the two students, initiate a magisterial or judicial inquiry into the incident, and take proper steps against culprits, among other things. So after discussing with the minister, we called off the bandh late night”, Upendra Debbarma told indianexpress.com.

Debbarma, who is also the joint secretary of the North East Student’s Organization, said the discussion with the minister took place from 10pm on Sunday to 1am on Monday.

The TSF had earlier expressed distrust in the police’s inquiry, to be led by Deputy SP (Traffic) Koyal Debbarma, saying the student body didn’t have faith in an investigation of traffic police by their own officials. Debbarma said the student organisation would wait for three-four days to see if the government fulfils its promises. “If our demands aren’t met in four days, we shall proceed with our movement again”, he said.

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TSF general secretary John Debbarma also said the agitation had been suspended for four days to see if the government would fulfil its promises of a magisterial inquiry, withdrawal of the case against students and compensation for the students.

A traffic official who allegedly assaulted the students was removed from field duties till the inquiry would be over.

Mevar Kumar Jamatia, tribal welfare minister and general secretary of the ruling Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura, had termed the incident as “very unfortunate” but declined to comment on the bandh call. The ruling BJP opposed the strike but said it would wait for the inquiry to be over before making any comments.

Other student and youth organisations had also protested demanding justice for the two university students.

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