At least 11 days after police fired at protesters agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Bill at Madhabbari in West Tripura, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Saturday visited the violence-hit areas and announced a distribution of cheques worth Rs 1 lakh to each family whose member is admitted in hospital with bullet injuries during police action.
The Chief Minister said the government would also take responsibility of all hospital and treatment bills of the wounded and his government would soon identify and punish those involved with the incident.
“We have ordered a magisterial inquiry on the incident and instructed to identify everyone involved with the incident in an unbiased manner. Let the report come and then you can come ask me questions. Culprits will face legal action from the government, whether they are from administration or outside it”, Deb said, in an oblique reference to reports of police and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) excesses during Bill protests on January 8.
NESO organised an 11-hour strike across North East India against the Citizenship Amendment Bill on January 8. Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), a NESO partner, set up a blockade at Madhbabari in West Tripura district as part of the strike on the day. During police action on a group of unruly protesters, 15 persons were injured including three who sustained bullet injuries in police firing. A video later went viral on social media where policemen were seen vandalizing an ambulance with injured protesters inside.
The Chief Minister declined to comment when asked about the police firing on protesters and whether they vandalised an ambulance. He said that anything he says might influence the probe.
The local administration had paid an immediate relief of up to Rs 10,000 to owners of shops, which were gutted during the protests.
“The local administration has given immediate relief. I am promising that Rs 50,000 will be given to each of them. In cases where higher losses were incurred, we shall stand with necessary help”, Deb announced.
A statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya at Dasharampara area in TTAADC sustained damage during the protests. The statue’s crest was damaged by bullets and its left wrist was found broken due to a blow from a heavy weapon. The statue was found covered in black tarpaulin and surrounded by black flags today.
Chief Minister Deb had the statue uncovered, the black flags removed and assured that vandalising of the statue would be probed into. The government will pay for repairs needed in it as well.
Tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia and local MLA Sushanta Choudhury joined the CM during his visit today.
On Monday, former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar visited the violence-affected areas in Jirania sub-division and assured support to the people. Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debburma had also visited the spot and appealed people to maintain peace and law and order.