One died and at least 12 people were injured in a clash between the supporters of the ruling BJP and Opposition CPI(M) at Charilam in West Tripura district Wednesday. The injured persons were admitted to Govind Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital in the state capital.
Notably, Charilam is the home turf of Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma.
The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon when a group of CPI(M) supporters tried to ‘reopen’ a local party office which was gutted in political violence in 2018, shortly after the BJP-led government came to power.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, an official from the Tripura Police headquarters in Agartala said the incident occurred when a group of CPI(M) supporters tried to reopen a local party office. However, no formal police complaint was filed till the latest reports came in.
Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury visited the GBP hospital Wednesday evening and alleged that the incident was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” hatched by the CPI(M) to malign the BJP ahead of the forthcoming state polls next year.
He claimed that Left supporters instead attacked a peaceful BJP rally in Charilam and added that the CPI(M) perpetrated the violence sensing its defeat in the impending elections.
The minister, however, condoled the death of one person in the clash and said: “It’s very sad that a life was lost. But we don’t know what exactly happened. We have to go to the root to see whether our workers were involved or whether the Opposition party hatched this conspiracy. This is undoubtedly a conspiracy.”
Chowdhury claimed CPI(M) supporters attacked BJP karyakartas during a “democratic movement”. The minister said even MLAs like Parimal Saha, and Madhusudhan Saha, and cabinet ministers like Bimal Sinha were murdered during the CPI(M) regime and added, “If ministers, MLAs could be murdered, killing a mere cadre is not a big deal for them. It is a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the Opposition. They don’t have faith in democracy and the people of Tripura. They are going to get a big jolt during the 2023 election results.”
Opposition leader Manik Sarkar also visited the injured at the hospital and said the incident was yet another example of “jungle raj prevalent in Tripura”.
He said the CPI(M) organised a mass deputation at Charilam after obtaining the required permission from the police. “However, the BJP was later learnt to have announced a party event in the local block area this morning. The police discussed with them and adjusted time for both parties but when our workers reached the spot, they found BJP workers didn’t want to vacate the area. Our workers sensed that there would be trouble if they pressed to hold the event at the same spot,” Sarkar added. The former chief minister said Left workers, therefore, held the programme in front of the local party office, which was lying shut.
Condemning the violence, Sarkar said: “It’s sad that the area is the home turf of the deputy chief minister, who is also in charge of rural development and power… Rural development and power departments are a few of the departments that have become hubs of corruption. The party must be reined in…”
Sarkar demanded that the police arrest those involved in the violence at the earliest.