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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Six injured in CPM-BJP clash at Dhanpur in Tripura’s Sepahijala district

Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury says can respond to Left in a language they understand

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
September 7, 2021 11:28:08 am
The clash left a BJP activist injured and a local office of the party was damaged, allegedly by CPIM supporters.

Agartala, September 07: Hours after a clash between ruling BJP and opposition CPI(M) at Dhanpur and Bashpukur in villages of Tripura’s Sepahijala district left six injured on Monday, Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury said BJP workers can respond to the Left in the” language they understand” but said his party believes in democracy.

The clash left a BJP activist injured and a local office of the party was damaged, allegedly by CPIM supporters.

Incidentally, Dhanpur happens to be Manik Sarkar’s home turf as well as the assembly constituency of Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhowmik, who contested from the seat in 2018 and lost. She was inducted into the Modi cabinet as a minister of state last month.

A large gathering of CPI(M) supporters turned up at Kathalia rural development block, where opposition leader Manik Sarkar had a scheduled rally. A group of BJP activists were found blocking the way to the rally venue and raised ‘Go Back Manik Sarkar’ slogans. The protesters also raised slogans of returning public deposits swindled by chit fund company Rose Valley, a case that is currently being probed by the CBI. The slogans were in reference to Sarkar’s attendance at one of the chit fund company’s events when he was Chief Minister.

Speaking to reporters, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Banik Biplab Das said an altercation snowballed into a clash between the two political parties and led to the injury of a BJP supporter and one of the party’s local offices sustaining damage.

Police asked CPI(M) leaders including Manik Sarkar and local MLA Shyamal Chakraborty not to proceed with the rally citing volatile law and order situation. The Left party workers later formed a human chain and guarded the leaders to Bashpukur, three km away from Dhanpur, where another group of BJP activists set up a blockade.

While trying to get through the second barricade, a CPI(M) supporter and four BJP activists were injured and police had to fire tear gas shells to bring the law and order situation under control.

Addressing the rally later today, Sarkar said BJP is ‘dushman’ (enemy) of workers, students, poor and middle-class people and all people alike.

Appealing to his comrades to unite against the ruling BJP, he said, “This rally will send a message to everyone that we can’t put our heads down anymore. We have to resist. We have to fight back for our rights.”

Reacting to the incident, BJP wrote on its official Facebook page of the state committee that Manik Sarkar was the mastermind of political violence in 25 years of Left Front rule, which ended in 2018. The post also alleged that “CPI(M) goons” attacked BJP workers, damaged motorcycles of pedestrians and damaged shops at Dhanpur on Monday.

In a press conference later on Monday evening, newly inducted minister for Information, Culture and Youth Affairs Sushanta Chowdhury issued a terse warning to the Left party workers and said, “We believe in democratic rights, not violence. But we are ready to respond CPI
(M) in the language they understand. If they consider BJP karyakartas weak, they are utterly mistaken”.

The minister also said BJP will hold a protest at Kathalia market on September 8.

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