Tripura Opposition leader Manik Sarkar Wednesday accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of launching a premeditated attack on Communist Party activists while the latter were observing a condolence meeting for those who died protesting the centre’s farm laws at Delhi. Sarkar claimed the police were informed of the incident but they did not intervene.
Speaking to reporters in Agartala, Sarkar said the attack happened during a condolence meeting at the residence of All India Kisan Sabha state secretary Pabitra Kar in Khayerpur on December 20.
“They were attacked in the middle of the meeting. Naturally, the latter resisted and there were scuffles. Few people were injured and the attackers went away, but only to return with larger numbers and resume the assault. The police were informed but they could not stop the attackers,” Sarkar said.
He added that 31 CPI(M) supporters sustained injuries in the assault, out of which two were critically wounded and were later referred to Kolkata for treatment. Sarkar also claimed there were incidents of arson, vandalism of vehicles and houses, looting of shops, but all senior police officials could say was they were trying to “control the situation”.
Sarkar also said a delegation of Communist Party leaders, including four former cabinet ministers, tried to visit the spot on Tuesday, but his security detail was advised against it.
Accusing the BJP of perpetrating a series of political attacks since the party assumed power in March, 2018, Manik Sarkar questioned the shrinking space for protest and said the BJP is fast losing public support in Tripura due to its anti-people policies.
“They are suffering from internal squabbles; their leaders rush to Delhi against each other, protest against one another. Bodies are found every other day during BJP regime, crime on women have risen and common people are now taking law in their own hands by lynching people over suspicion of theft, child abduction etc”, Sarkar said. He added that the BJP is now afraid of contesting polls due to falling support, owing to which all elections including Tripura ADC polls, civic body elections are being deferred.
Reacting to the opposition leader’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya today denied the charges and said it was his party workers who came under attack from communist party workers. “We didn’t attack them. Instead, seven of our supporters were injured in their attack. They threw petrol bombs on the houses of our party workers. The entire incident occurred in front of the police”, he said.
Bhattacharya further said BJP supporters who sustained injuries in the clash have lodged multiple complaints with Bodhjungnagar police station.
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