| People wait to cast their votes in Agartala. File picture |
Agartala, July 23: Post-poll violence has again reared its ugly head in Tripura after the statewide three-tier panchayat elections.
Last night, BJP’s state unit president Sudheendra Dasgupta and party leaders Vikash Debnath, Tapas Bhattacharjee, Arun Halder and Rakesh Debnath were seriously injured at Jatrapur under Sonamura subdivision after being allegedly attacked by CPM cadres who had taken out a victory procession. The injured BJP leaders were sent to Agartala by police in Jatrapur through a different route in another vehicle.
The BJP leaders and workers organised a road blockade at Fire Brigade Square at 8pm to protest the attack. The deputy superintendent of police (central), Rajendra Dutta, spoke to BJP workers and persuaded them to withdraw the blockade. He also assured their leaders of better security. This afternoon, the BJP took out a procession that moved through the streets of Agartala to protest last night’s attack.
Dasgupta said he had received information about incidents of assaults on BJP workers and candidates in the panchayat elections by armed CPM cadres. “This time we have won five gram panchayats and 141 seats in the three-tier panchayat elections. It is not a very remarkable performance, but we have made our presence felt. The CPM started attacking our workers and supporters from the day of counting all over the state,” Dasgupta said.
Regarding yesterday’s incident, Dasgupta said in South Maheshpur panchayat under Sonamura subdivision, four families of BJP supporters, including two candidates, were attacked by CPM cadres who also molested women.
“I went to South Maheshpur panchayat yesterday in the afternoon to meet our assaulted party workers. When we were returning, our Bolero was stopped by CPM cadres who took out a victory procession. We were dragged out of the car and beaten up. We ran away to Jatrapur police station for shelter,” he said.
He added that more than a thousand CPM cadres assembled in front of the police station and tried to storm it. Their car was allegedly destroyed by the CPM cadres. “We will bring the matter to the notice of governor P.B. Acharya and Union home minister Rajnath Singh,” Dasgupta said.
In another incident, CPM cadres attacked four Trinamul and a Congress candidate in the Mahavir panchayat under Kamalpur subdivision last night.
Police sources said CPM cadres organised a victory procession and a programme last evening, but around 9pm some cadres in drunken state stormed the residences of Kavita Gour, 35, Sumit Munda, 32, Sanjay Goala, 33, Bishu Gour, 41 — all Trinamul candidates and Congress candidate Kanchini Bauri, 36.
The assailants beat up the men and molested women. Though Mahavir police outpost is within half-a-kilometre from the site of attack, the police took no action.
The chairman of the state unit of Trinamul, Ratan Chakraborty, and Tripura PCC working president Asish Saha condemned the incidents of attacks and said that post-election violence is continuing all over the state since the night of July 20 after counting ended.
The CPM , however, denied the allegations.