The statewide 24-hour strike, called by the Tripura PCC and the Tripura Pradesh Youth Congress, in protest against baton charge by police on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill agitators here on Wednesday had a partial impact across the city on Thursday.
While maximum shops and some educational institutions remained shut, streets wore a deserted look with hardly any vehicle movement. However, attendance of employees in government offices and banks was usual. Long queues of commuters waiting for transport were seen at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport and the railway station here.
Northeast Frontier Railway’s chief public relation officer Subhanan Chanda said all trains from Tripura to across the country till Friday have been cancelled.
Tripura PCC vice-president Tapas Dey said, “The response has been good. The strike was largely peaceful except for some stray incidents. BJP supporters assaulted our workers at Kumarghat and in Chawmanu.” He added that the Congress will oppose the “unconstitutional bill tooth and nail”.
Tripura PCC president Pujan Biswas said around 300 Youth Congress activists were detained by the police in the past two days.
“Today’s strike was called to condemn the police’s baton charge on protesters during a peaceful rally here on Wednesday. The police brutally attacked our workers, elderly leaders and some journalists. They even abused us in foul language and entered Rajiv Bhawan. Some women Congress workers were baton charged too. Altogether 15 party workers were injured,” he added.
Dey claimed that they had written to the police, seeking permission for the rally on Wednesday but received no response.
“So far, the strike was peaceful and successful. People helped us. But some BJP cadres attacked our workers in some parts of the state. Like the British, the BJP is trying to divide people based on their religious identities through the bill. We will continue our protest,” Biswas said.
However, Sadar sub-divisional police officer Dhruba Nath denied the Congress’s allegation and said they did not receive any letter from them.
“There was no order for the rally and we did not receive any letter from the Congress. When we tried to stop the torch-lit rally in front of Rajiv Bhawan, one of the protesters injured a police official with a torch,” Nath said.
Additional inspector-general of police, law and order, Subrata Chakraborty, said no untoward incidents were reported and so far the strike was peaceful. Police detained around 125 strike supporters.