In Nehalchandranagar, in Tripura’s Sepahijala district, 30 kilometres from Agartala, a group of men allegedly attacked a team of Left and Congress leaders, including two lawmakers. As they attacked the gathering, the attackers reportedly chanted “Jai Shri Ram,” damaging at least three automobiles. The delegation’s members were all unharmed.
According to one MP, the security detail with them did not step in. Following the event, Jitendra Chaudhary, state secretary for the CPI(M), declared that the team of seven lawmakers, who had arrived in the state earlier in the day on a two-day visit, had been “compelled to suspend outdoor programmes” planned for Saturday.
The police alleged that during the group’s “unscheduled visit” to Nehalchandranagar, “some sloganeering” occurred. Assistant Inspector General of Police Jyotishman Das Chowdhury refuted the claim that the police officers with the team did nothing. He said, “The accompanying police escort team responded quickly and rescued the delegation safely. Senior officers are at the spot. No injury to any person has been reported locally. Damage to 2-3 vehicles has been reported. One suspect has been detained. Raids are on to identify and arrest other miscreants.”
The party of Left Front and Congress MPs from Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu arrived in the region to gauge the level of alleged violence that has allegedly taken place after the March 2 announcement of election results. The MPs spent the day touring several locations in Sepahijala, Gomati, West Tripura, Khowai, and Dhalai in three separate teams.
While CPIM Rajya Sabha MP Elaram Karim and Congress Lok Sabha MP Abdul Khalek were part of the team that visited Bishalgarh in Sepahijala and parts of West Tripura, a second team comprising Congress Lok Sabha MP Ranjita Ranjan and CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MPs A A Rahim and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya visited Kalkalia village in West Tripura.
The third team of CPI(M) Lok Sabha MP P R Natarajan and Binoy Biswam visited different areas of Durgabari, Ushabazaar, Kalikapur, and others villages in the district. Former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Assembly Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar accompanied the team.
AICC national secretary for Tripura, Dr Ajay Kumar, state Congress president Birajit Sinha, senior Congressman Gopal Chandra Roy, and Jitendra Chaudhary were among the politicians who accompanied Karim and Khalek.
Abdul Khalek reported that it was attacked after the team arrived at the scene in the afternoon to assess the situation. He added that about 20 shops in Nehalchandranagar had been destroyed.
He said, “We were informed some 20 shops were gutted in Nehalchandranagar in Bishalgarh. We went to visit those and talk to the affected people. Suddenly, some people came, said they were BJP supporters and claimed their shops were set ablaze.”
He added, “We started talking to them, but some people started to pelt stones at our vehicles all of a sudden. Four of our vehicles were damaged. It is very surprising that the police didn’t do a single thing to help us.”
When the state government could not even provide adequate security for the delegation in broad daylight, Khalek claimed it was pointless to talk about the safety and security of people. The MP also stated to have travelled to West Tripura’s Charipara, Gajaria, Vaishnabtilla, and other regions.
Ranjeeta Ranjan said, “Hooliganism is going on in broad daylight here and if the Opposition wants to simply stand in solidarity, attacks are being lashed out. If seven MPs and several MLAs aren’t safe in Tripura, how common people can be safe here?” she asked.
The local CPI(M), Congress supporters, and the Congress leader joined by other politicians, including AICC secretary Szarita Laitphlang and former MLA Ashish Kumar Saha, claimed that a BJP supporter threatened their homes would be destroyed during their trip.
Ms Ranjan said, “I feel feels goons were being provided shelter from the law in Tripura and were let loose to attack anyone who wants to show solidarity to the victims of their violence.”
According to a statement from the CPI(M) state secretariat, the incident shows how the BJP’s rule of law and public safety has declined. Since March 2, there have been at least 638 violent occurrences, including assaults, looting, burning, and ransacking in various sections of the state, according to the CPI(M) and Congress. While some accused were held, the parties claim they were shortly freed.
In a previous statement, the police claimed that more than 150 minor and significant incidents had occurred statewide since the results were released. Over 1,000 people were held on preventive grounds, and at least ten were arrested on specific charges.
BJP leaders were unavailable to respond to the accusations made by the Opposition.