8 injured in BJP-Cong clash in Tripura

At least eight persons were injured in a clash between the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress workers at Dukli village in West Tripura on Tuesday afternoon over submission of nominations for coming three-tier panchayat byelections in Tripura.

By TANMOY CHAKRABORTY in Agartala
  • Published 12.09.18
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Police try to disperse the persons involved in the clash in West Tripura on Tuesday. Picture by Pranab Shil

Agartala: At least eight persons were injured in a clash between the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress workers at Dukli village in West Tripura on Tuesday afternoon over submission of nominations for coming three-tier panchayat byelections in Tripura.

The incident came within a day of at least 13 persons, including one CRPF personnel, seven supporters of ruling coalition partner IPFT and five activists of the BJP, getting injured in a clash between BJP and IPFT supporters at Boxanagar village of Sipahijala district, 60km from here, on Monday.

Tuesday's clashes started near the office of Dukli block development officer at 12.15om on Tuesday when a group of BJP supporters engaged in a clash with Congress activists who gathered there to assist the party's candidate in submitting nomination papers to the BDO.

According to state election commission rules, the block development officer play the role of returning officers (RO) in the panchayat elections.

"Congress supporters arrived on the spot in a few vehicles. Some miscreants attacked them and also tried to disrupt the process of submitting nomination papers at the panchayat samiti office. We had to resort to a lathicharge and burst tear gas cells to disrupt the clashing parties. At least eight persons were injured, including two policemen," sub-divisional police officer Ajay Kumar Das told The Telegraph.

Tripura PCC president Birajit Sinha alleged that BJP supporters had attacked them and said he sustained injuries.

Women were not spared during the attack either, the Congress leader claimed.

On Monday's clashes between the BJP and IPFT supporters, superintendent of police (Sipahijala) Kulwant Singh said supporters of both the parties engaged in a clash near Boxanagar BDO's office.

"The police had to burst tear gas shells to control the situation. Three persons were injured, including an SDPO," a police official said.

IPFT president Shuklacharan Noatia said he was disappointed by the BJP's attack on his party workers, as the two parties were in an alliance at the state government.

"We are allies with the BJP in the state government. We went to submit nomination papers at Boxanagar and some BJP leaders blocked us on our way. Later, they attacked us. Many IPFT supporters were injured," Shuklacharan said.

However, BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb has rubbished allegations against the party in both incidents.

"These are baseless allegations. Our party isn't involved in any attack on any political party. We also believe in friendly, peaceful electoral exercise," Deb said.