CM Biplab Deb warns CPI(M) against attempts to ‘plunge Tripura into lawlessness’

In a series of tweets Friday, the chief minister blamed the Left for the recent incidents of political violence in the state in which media houses and CPI(M) offices were attacked and several activists of the BJP as well as the Left were injured.

In a series of tweets, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb issued a warning to the Opposition CPI(M) on Friday saying its attempts to “plunge Tripura into lawlessness” would not be tolerated by the people.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Deb wrote, “For past 3 years, Tripura has seen all round peace & prosperity with radical improvements in law & order situation. Political opposition led by CPM have been rattled by this. In their desperation to regain lost political ground, they attempted to plunge Tripura into lawlessness”.

“I wish to remind the CPM that in our New Tripura such violent political behaviour will not be tolerated by its people. It will be my utmost endeavour to identify and punish each miscreant as per law. Peace is and will be a non negotiable tenet of BJP led government,” he said.

On Wednesday, four media houses in the state had come under attack including the offices of the CPI(M)’s mouthpiece Daily Desher Katha, local Bengali morning daily Pratibadi Kalam and local TV channels PB 24 and Duranta TV.

Deb further tweeted, “I have also heard disturbing reports of an attack on the office of a media outlet. Media is fourth pillar of our democracy and should be respected by all. We will identify those behind the attack & ensure speedy justice. I stand with all my media friends in solidarity.”

His tweets come amid allegations raised by the CPIM and the BJP accusing each other of political violence.

Responding to the attacks, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “We are sorry if it has happened. It might have happened by mistake. Our top leaders will discuss it and if it is true, required steps will be taken.”

The chief minister also shared videos in which alleged CPI(M) supporters are seen clashing with security personnel at Sonamura in Sepahijala district. “On 6th Sep, Former CM Manik Sarkar, led a mob of drug mafias and instigated them to attack BJP workers in Sonamura. Several BJP workers were severely injured and a few are still fighting for life in GB hospital. This has been the political modus operandi mastered by CPM,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, state Left Front convener and CPI(M) central committee member Bijan Dhar claimed at least 26 party offices were vandalised or gutted and the houses of no less than a hundred party activists were targeted in the violence.

“BJP-backed hooligans have unleashed violence and terror on an unprecedented scale. Democracy is being slaughtered in Tripura. People have no voice. We aren’t left with any choice but to resist this terror through democratic movement,” Dhar said.

The recent clashes broke out at Dhanpur and Bashpukur villages in Sepahijala on Monday, where Opposition leader Manik Sarkar was scheduled to join a rally. After a group of BJP activists showed black flags to the Left leader and chanted ‘Go Back Manik Sarkar’, clashes erupted in which some cops as well as activists of the BJP and the CPI(M) were injured.

Two days later, further incidents of violence were reported at Udaipur in Gomati district, Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district, and in Hapania and Agartala in West Tripura. Two offices of the CPI(M) were gutted, six vehicles set ablaze and as many as 10 were left injured, including BJP and CPI(M) activists. Incidents of violence have also been reported in Dharmanagar of North Tripura district and parts of West Tripura since.

Senior Tripura Police officials remained tight-lipped on details of the losses sustained in the wake of the violence, but said they are considering imposing tight security in the affected areas.

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