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Tripura Cong office burnt, tension soars

Agartala, Nov. 30: Sporadic incidents of violence are being reported from all over the sate as the Assembly elections draw near. Late last night, the Congress party office at Jalefa market in Sabroom subdivision was burnt down by suspected CPM cadres.

After seeing the flames from their homes, large numbers of Congress workers rushed out to douse the flames but could do little to save the office.

This morning, irate Congress workers blocked the national highway extension (No. 44) connecting Sabroom with Agartala demanding that the culprits be immediately arrested. However, police were rushed to the spot from Sabroom and the situation was brought under control and the blockade was lifted.

“I pleaded with the agitating Congress workers to withdraw the blockade and not to let people suffer; after a brief argument, they agreed to withdraw after I had promised to arrest those involved in the arson at the earliest,” said Sabroom SDPO Rajiv Shukla Das.

He said there was political tension in the Ludhua and Manu Bazar areas of Sabroom subdivision between Congress and CPM workers, but security had been tightened to prevent any untoward incident.

In another incident, Congress worker Sanatan Sutradhar, 32, was allegedly beaten up in the Sripally area under Jirania police station by CPM supporters who were returning from a rally in Agartala last Wednesday.

“According to complaint filed by Sanatan, he was standing by the roadside on Wednesday evening when a group of CPM workers returning from the rally at Agartala set upon him and injured him,” said Kamal Goswami, officer-in-charge of Jirania police station. Goswami said there was political tension between Congress and CPM supporters in the entire Jirania police station area.

The war of words between the Congress and CPM is continuing. Ratanlal Nath, leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, today accused the Left Front of deliberately depriving OBC communities by not implementing reservation for them in government jobs and education.

Nath cited a number of Supreme Court orders, which empower the state government to implement reservation in the state. But CPM party secretary Bijan Dhar refuted Nath’s claim by citing the apex court’s order that reservation anywhere cannot exceed the 50 per cent limit.

“In Tripura, we already have 50 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, physically handicapped and ex-servicemen. Where is the scope for OBC reservation? Nath is only misleading the people,” Dhar said.

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