Political leaders in Tripura engaged in a bitter spat on Tuesday over the clashes that broke out in the state since the announcement of poll results on May 23, with the Congress pointing fingers at the BJP and the saffron party shifting the blame to the CPI(M).
Two persons were killed and several injured in the clashes that broke out in West Tripura and other parts of the state following the announcement of general election results.
The BJP claimed that the two victims were activists of the party, but the police said it had no information about their political affiliations.
Lambasting the saffron party, the Congress on Tuesday claimed that its workers were attacked and intimidated by the BJP activists following the announcement of results on May 23.
The BJP has bagged the two parliamentary seats in the state by a comfortable margin.
Addressing a press meet in Agartala, senior Congress leader Subal Bhowmik sought the resignation of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb over the “prevailing lawlessness” in the state.
The Congress leader had contested and lost the election to BJP’s Pratima Bhowmik from West Tripura seat.
More than 25 Congress workers and supporters had to be admitted in hospitals, while over 500 party activists were forced to flee homes since violence broke out in the state on May 23, he said.
“The BJP has let loose unprecedented terror in the state. Around 550 activists were forced to flee homes, while 27 others have been admitted to hospitals. We demand Biplab Kumar Deb’s resignation as law and order has collapsed in the state. He should take responsibility for the prevailing situation and resign,” the Congress leader said.
Tapas Dey, the state unit vice-president of the Congress, said funds have been raised to treat the injured party workers and fight legal battles.
Dey also claimed that the police did not take action against the accused even after his party members filed several complaints in this regard.
“While Tripura Pradesh Committee president Pradyot Kishore Debbarman donated Rs 10 lakh, other activists and supporters also raised money for the treatment of injured. The fund will be used to fight legal battles too,” he added.
A senior police officer has confirmed on the condition of anonymity that over 100 complaints of clashes and violence have been lodged with various police stations in eight districts of the state.
He, however, could not cite reasons when asked why no one has been arrested as yet.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya, on his part, said the claims made by the Congress were “baseless, imaginary and far from the truth”.
“Our karyakartas are not involved in violence. A group of CPI(M)cadres, posing as BJP workers, are creating turmoil in the state. They have also attacked people in minority-dominated localities to trigger communal tension,” he said, squarely blaming the erstwhile ruling party for the violence.
The BJP spokesperson also insisted that two of its activists were murdered and more than 25 party supporters injured in the past five days.
“In West Tripura district, one BJP karyakarta was murdered at Fatikcherra area on Friday, and another near Banikya Chowmuhani the day after. We have reports that the CPI(M) cadres were involved in the attacks,” he said, adding that the Congress has “maintained silence” in both the cases.
Rubbishing the allegations, CPI(M) central committee member Bijan Dhar said more than 200 attacks and 88 cases of arson have been reported in Tripura since the announcement of the poll results.
“The Left leaders and supporters have come under attack time and again. But nobody has been arrested for these attacks yet,” Dhar, who is also the convener of the Left Front in Tripura, added.