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Violence in Tripura panchayat election run-up

Agartala, June 25: A BJP candidate for the upcoming panchayat elections in Tripura was harassed, threatened and warned not to take part in the polls allegedly by CPM activists in Bishalgarh subdivision yesterday.

Suniti Debnath, 36, BJP candidate for the Kasba gram panchayat in Golaghati block under Bishalgarh subdivision was threatened with dire consequences unless she withdrew her candidature for the panchayat polls.

Following up their threat, local CPM workers stormed Suniti’s house at night in the absence of her husband and threatened to burn all her family members to death.

A complaint was filed this morning with Golaghati outpost under Bishalgarh police station but no action has so far been taken.

The state BJP president, Sudheendra Dasgupta, this morning visited Suniti’s house and led a protest march through Golaghati market.

Dasgupta later told reporters in Agartala that CPM cadres have been attacking BJP workers and election candidates in different parts of the state following largescale exodus from the party to the BJP.

“The CPM is scared. Their former deputy panchayat chief Bachhu Mia, 41, in the Rangamura area under Belonia subdivision recently joined the BJP with his family members and 72 CPM workers and supporters and are contesting the polls on BJP tickets. The CPM cadres have started threatening him to withdraw his nomination,” Dasgupta said.

He added that in the Kadamtala area of Dharmanagar subivision, CPM cadres forcibly prevented BJP candidate Asad Mia from filing nomination for Dhantala panchayat. “After the Lok Sabha election results, particularly after the emergence of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre thousands of CPM, Congress and Trinamul workers have joined the BJP. This is what has unnerved the CPM. Besides, in many places local BJP, Congress and Trinamul workers and supporters have formed a joint front to fight the panchayat polls together.”

Apart from the BJP, Tripura PCC spokesman and former MLA Tapas De also alleged that CPM cadres were perpetrating terror in remote areas of the state to retain their hold on the three-tier panchayat.

“In Hrishyamukh under Belonia subdivision Congress candidates have not been allowed to file nomination but this political terror will sooner or later boomerang on the CPM. There is a strong possibility that the political violence will worsen as the panchayat election draws near,” De said.