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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Ex-CM Manik Sarkar attacked in Tripura

The incumbent Opposition leader said that they allegedly came under attack by ruling BJP-backed goons

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 11.05.21, 02:09 AM
Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar

Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar File picture

Unidentified miscreants attacked former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and few other senior CPM leaders on Monday afternoon at Shantirbazar in South Tripura district, around 80km from state capital Agartala.

Sarkar, the incumbent Opposition leader, told reporters in Agartala that they had gone to Shantirbazar to inquire about a recent attack on CPM workers but instead came under attack by ruling BJP-backed goons.

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He claimed they were attacked with eggs, stones, bottles and sticks “in front” of policemen even though he had informed the director-general of police about their visit to the area.

Sarkar escaped unhurt.

The police had asked them to turn back fearing a law and order situation but the CPM team walked to the place, Sarkar said and alleged police’s lack of arrangement for the trip.

Accompanying the four-term chief minister were deputy Opposition leader Badal Choudhury, who is said to have suffered mild injuries after being hit by a bottle, and Tapash Dutta.

State CPM secretary Gautam Das told The Telegraph that the attack took place between 12.30pm and 1pm and four cars were damaged in the attack. “Almost everyone suffered mild injuries in the attack but nobody was hospitalised,” he said.

Police sources said a mob was opposing the visit but the police successfully managed to evacuate them from the area.

“We are awaiting the detailed report,” one of them said.

The alleged attack takes place despite a recent claim by chief minister Biplab Deb that his government has ended the culture of political violence.

Deb had last week even condemned the post-poll violence in Bengal.

Sarkar pointed out that though the government has banned the gathering of large crowds because of the Covid-19 situation, a large number of BJP-backed hoodlums were waiting for them at Shantirbazar.

The BJP (35)-IPFT (8) alliance won 43 of the 60 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls to end the Left Front’s 25-year reign. The Left could manage only 16 seats.

Biplab succeeded Sarkar, 72, as the new chief minister.

This is not the first time that Sarkar has come under attack. In November 2018, Sarkar’s convoy was attacked in Tripura’s Sipahijala district allegedly by “BJP goons” when he was returning to Agartala after attending a party function.

Party sources said few vehicles were damaged because of the pelting.

Condemning the attack on Monday, the CPM politburo in a statement said the attack on its member Sarkar was allegedly carried out by BJP hoodlums.

“In a programme permitted by the Tripura police and the administration, Manik Sarkar and the Opposition team was physically attacked and prevented from visiting the houses of some party leaders and cadres and supporters who were subjected to attacks earlier.

“The BJP, showing its true character and colour, is not allowing any democratic activity of the Opposition in Tripura. This is unacceptable and will be resisted and rebuffed,” the statement said.

Senior minister Ratan Lal Nath refuted the allegations while the police are yet to make a comment.

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