Tripura: Scuffle Between BJP & Congress Workers Leads To Political Turmoil; Section 144 Clamped In Bishalgarh

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, November 03, 2022: Tripura’s Bishalgarh sub-division has turned into a hotbed of violence during the past four and half years. A scuffle broke out between the workers of Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday in the Rautkhala area of the Sepahijala district. The political turmoil took an ugly turn after bullets fired and bombs hurled, leaving several critically injured.

Allegations have been labelled against ruling BJP for sponsoring ‘Bike Bahini’ in ambushing Congress party workers and supporters at Rauthkhala area in Bishalgarh under Sepahijala district for hoisting flag of the Indian National Congress (INC). It is alleged that three rounds of bullets were fired directly from a 9 mm pistol to kill the Congress party workers. Not only this, four bombs were also alleged hurled at opposition party workers and later the party office was set on fire.

The Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Bishalgarh imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC to avert any further escalation of the tension.

Congress workers present at the spot alleged that a group of ruling-party sponsored hooligans led by Bishalgarh Mandal president Sushanta Deb, Rajesh Saha and others along with a notorious anti-social element Mon Sarkar are accused of attacking the Congress workers. They also alleged that the anti-social Mon Sarkar with a 9 mm pistol attacked the Congress workers, firing three rounds on the national highway on Wednesday afternoon. The entire area was terrified by the firing of pistols. Four bombs were also allegedly hurled at Congress workers, and the Congress party office was set on fire.

It may be noted that by 11 AM on Wednesday, 10-12 Congress workers were busy putting up party flags on both sides of the national highway at Bishalgarh’s Rautkhala area. As soon as Ranjit Saha reached the place adjacent to the mill, around 20-30 miscreants ambushed the Congress workers.

It is alleged that the members of the ruling party sponsored ‘Bike Bahini’ were present with sharp cutting weapons, rod sticks and even nine mm pistols in their possession. Congress workers were severely beaten. Sikander Ali, a Congress worker, suffered minor injuries in the ruthless vigil of the miscreants. At present, the Congress worker is undergoing treatment at GBP Hospital, the state’s top referral hospital.

It is worthy to mention here that Mon Sarkar took out a nine mm pistol from his waist in broad daylight and fired at Congress worker Roni Saha. Fortunately, the bullet did not touch his body and ripped through his jeans. In the afternoon, the surroundings were stunned by the loud sound of 3 rounds of pistol shots. On hearing the news, many Congress workers immediately rushed to the spot. The Bishalgarh fire department was called repeatedly to rescue the critically injured Congress workers, but firemen reached the spot after an hour and by then the bleeding Congress worker was referred to GB from Bishalgarh hospital. As the fire personnel delayed, their vehicles were vandalized by the agitated crowd.

Coming to know about the heated situation, more number of ruling party workers gathered at a place adjacent to Rautkhala Club. Workers of both the political parties are located at a distance of 200 meters. The Congress is blocking the newly constructed bypass road protesting against bloodshed by ruling party supporters.

In the meantime, a huge contingent of police force led by Bishalgarh police station OC Badal Das, Inspector Sumanta Debbarma and Inspector Suman Ulla Kazi rushed to the spot after receiving the information of violence. The police were somewhat hampered in restraining the heated Congress workers.

On hearing the news, Congress leaders Joydul Hossain, Joydip Roy Barman and many others rushed to the spot. Roy Barman, who is the brother Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman spoke to the affected Congress workers and administrative officials. He demanded a proper investigation of the incident and requested to identify and arrest the accused as soon as possible. Congress leaders also left the area seeing the situation as normal.

Meanwhile, a large number of TSR paramilitary forces were deployed in Rautkhala area to maintain peace and order. Congress workers have complained about the partisan role of Sub-Divisional Police Officer Rahul Das. They claimed that the ruling party police did not take any action to stop the miscreants, instead they indiscriminately lathi-charged the Congress workers and supporters. The alleged ruling party miscreants had used mercenary police force to show their strength. As the situation reached beyond control, the Additional Superintendent of Police of the Sepahijala district, Randhir Debbarma, finally came down with a baton in his hand. He talks to local residents and political leaders. He demanded the help of all classes of people to maintain peace and order in the area. But till now no party has filed a case in the police station.

DM imposed section 144 and large number of paramilitary forces have been deployed. Police fired tear gas shells and dispersed the mob.

Local sources claimed the Congress party had pre-scheduled a programme of inaugurating their party office at Bishalgarh by the former Chief Minister and veteran leader Samir Ranjan Barman. The time when Congress workers were setting party flags in front of their office. All of a sudden, a good number of alleged BJP workers arrived at the spot and started attacking Congress Bhavan and pelting stones.

When contacted with SP of Sepahijala district BJ Reddy, he said that details can’t be revealed over phone. His reply assumed that the situation was still grim till Wednesday evening.

Later sources claimed that there were two injured persons of Congress party and five Fire Service Personnel.

In the evening, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, BJP state president Rajib Bhattacharjee, and state general secretary Tinku Roy visited.

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