At least 28 persons including a CPM legislator were injured in clashes between workers of the CPM and the BJP in different parts of Tripura since Sunday.
Sudhan Das, the CPM MLA from Rajnagar in South Tripura district, sustained injuries when he was attacked allegedly by BJP workers when the former was in the middle of a protest against rising fuel prices in his constituency. There was a separate attack on a CPM party office at Dhaleswar in Agartala on Monday.
Police said three cases have been registered over the violence. The injured include two personal guards of Das, a police officer, a jawan of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), and 13 workers of the BJP. “No arrest has been made so far. We are investigating the cases,” Belonia sub-divisional police officer Soumya Debbarma said.
Commenting on the clashes, CPM youth leader Amal Chakraborty said, “There is no rule of law in Tripura. A party office is smashed, people are beaten up by motorcycle-borne goons chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans and police do nothing.”
On its part, the BJP denied any role in the attacks on offices of the Left. “CPM has lost its ground and now they are busy raising complaints. Their internal feuds have come out in the open,” a spokesperson said.
Former chief minister and senior CPM leader Manik Sarkar expressed concern over the rising number of incidents of purported mob lynching and custodial deaths in different parts of the state. He said the state government must begin probes into the incidents and take proper action against culprits. No less than nine incidents of attacks on people have occurred in two years in different parts of the state, he said.
“Incidents like mob attack and custodial deaths in police and extra-judicial custody are a matter of concern. Surprisingly, the chief minister has not reacted to them. There’s no reaction from the Director-General of Police. This is not a good sign,” Sarkar said during a press conference at the CPM office in Agartala. “What steps have been taken by the government so far? Has anyone been arrested? We want to draw the attention of the government towards these incidents and demand an inquiry into these incidents.”
The former CM alleged that the state government has ‘failed’, holding it responsible for allowing a slew of violent attacks on CPM leaders including sitting MLA Badal Chowdhury.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP hit back at the CPM, claiming that victims of mob lynchings and murders during its regime have never received justice. “When he was chief minister, Manik Sarkar never reacted to those violent activities in his reign. And that’s why, he has no right to question the current government on these issues,” BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya told reporters. He also claimed the BJP-led government has taken proper action on such incidents in recent years.
Bhattacharya alleged the culture of mob lynching was prevalent during the CPM reign and that the party is indulging in violence-based politics again in the state.