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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tripura People’s Front calls for strike over deaths of jawans in fratricidal firing

CM Biplab Deb took to Twitter and announced that his government has decided to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to each of the bereaved families

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: December 5, 2021 9:40:09 pm
TripuraTSR rifleman Sukanta Das killed two of his senior colleagues inside a camp of the counter-insurgency force at Konaban in Sepahijala district on Saturday morning.

Tripura People’s Front (TPF), a political party seeking a separate state for the tribals of Tripura, has given a call for a state-wide strike on Monday, to protest against the death of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel Subedar Marka Hasin Jamatia and Naik Subedar Kiran Kumar Jamatia in a fratricidal firing incident. The TPF claimed that the law-and-order situation in the state has deteriorated and termed the attack on TSR jawans by fellow rifleman Sukanta Das as an “attack on the Twiprassa Borok people”.

In a press statement released on Sunday evening, TPF president Patal Kanya Jamatia said, “I am in tears for my people. The reason being advanced by the administration that the attack was related to the junior seeking leave is fake and false. This is the murder of our people and we will not take this lying down. The guilty must be court-martialled and there should be quick justice. We will bring Tripura to a halt on 6 December.”

Attacking the BJP-led state government, Patal Kanya said, Tripura has been “converted into a police state with the mantra of state terrorism at the hands of Bangladeshi infiltrators in the administration…”

Patal Kanya’s party has for long alleged that illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh were entering Tripura and it sought their expulsion from the state. The TPF had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking NRC (National Register of Citizens) revision in the north-eastern state.

The TPF statement alleged that earlier also Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sukhram Debbarma was killed and SDPO Sashimohan Debbarma was found hanging in his room, and it termed the incidents to be “fake suicides, fake accidents… rapes, gang rapes, murder” perpetrated on the tribals of Tripura.

TSR rifleman Sukanta Das killed two of his senior colleagues inside a camp of the counter-insurgency force at Konaban in Sepahijala district on Saturday morning. Police officials said he might have committed the act out of frustration for being denied leave from duty. Das later surrendered to the police and was taken into custody. He was remanded in police custody for five days by a local court on Sunday.

Tripura Police, in a statement, said, “Accused Rifleman Sukanta Das was arrested in connection with that case and was forwarded before the Ld. Court, where the Ld. Court granted 05 days police remand of the accused Sukanta Das. A large number of posts in social media demanding death penalty of accused TSR jawan have been noticed. In some posts there are calls for revenge/extra judicial killings in communal line. These posts are being scrutinised by the competent authority…”

It added, “Tripura Police appeal to the citizen of Tripura not to spread, share and circulate any hate speeches / messages and spread communal tension in the State. Investigation is being carried out speedily and professionally for ensuring justice.”

Meanwhile, the martyrs were offered gun salute at the 1st battalion TSR headquarters in Sepahijala district in the presence of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, the DGP and senior officials, among others. The CM and DGP VS Yadav also visited the residences of the two deceased jawans.

CM Deb later took to Twitter and announced that his government has decided to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to each of the bereaved families along with die-in-harness benefits.

Criticizing the decision, the TPF statement said that the “Compensation announced by Chief Minister Biplab Deb is peanuts and TPF rejects it.” The party said that families of the victims must be given two jobs and Rs 5 crore each in compensation.

Tripura Opposition leader Manik Sarkar condoled the death of the TSR jawans and said in a statement, “This is very painful... I believe the police and home department will take speedy steps for strict legal action against the culprit responsible behind this painful incident.”

The head of TIPRA Motha, Pradyot Kishore Manikya, said, “We are doing a state-wide protest tomorrow on the issue. We have already announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for each of the bereaved families from our side and have asked for speedy justice for the two slain TSR personnel. We want a quick enquiry and we want the culprit to be given the strictest punishment under the law.”

While TIPRA Motha has not joined the TPF’s strike call, Manikya said the rights of tribals including pressing issues like repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would be realized only by “sustained movement” like the one carried out by the farmers against the farm laws.

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