Post-poll violence in Tripura: MPs of Fact-finding team to raise issue in House

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Agartala, Mar 11, 2023, IANS

The 7-member fact-finding team of Left Front and Congress, which arrived in Tripura on Friday on a two-day visit to probe the incidents of post-poll violence and interact with the affected people, will raise the issue in the parliament and submit a memorandum to the President to stop violence in BJP-ruled Tripura against the opposition parties.

The parliamentary team has been "compelled to suspend its outdoor programmes scheduled for Saturday" after the visiting MPs were attacked allegedly by the BJP 'goons' when the team was visiting the violence-hit Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district on Friday.

"Some people backed by the ruling BJP attacked them and damaged their three vehicles," the MPs told Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya on Saturday before leaving the state for New Delhi.

CPI-M Rajya Sabha Member Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said that after the declaration of results of the February 16 assembly polls on March 2, over 1,000 incidents of violence have taken place since March 2, injuring over 200 people, including women and children.

Many people fled from their homes and took shelter in the jungle, different places and outside the state to save their lives, he said, adding that hundreds of houses, shops and business establishments, vehicles and various other properties belonging to opposition parties were destroyed and burnt down.

The members of the parliamentary team include P.R. Natarajan, Ranjita Ranjan, A.A. Rahim, Abdul Khalique (Lok Sabha) and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Vinay Viswam, and Elaram Karim (Rajya Sabha).

The MPs in their memorandum said: "We are in doubt, whether in any state of the country, the such backlash is carried out by the ruling party on the followers of opponents only because they didn't support the ruling party and worked for the opposition in the just concluded Assembly Election."

It said that in all the places the remains of gutted houses and shops charged vehicles right from rickshaws and E-rickshaws, and damaged and gutted vehicles are still available.

"Residents of the victim families are leading lives in hell for want of food, shelter and medical treatment. During our visit, we ourselves faced open threats from the ruling party cadres in the presence of police. Inhuman physical attacks were carried on hundreds of opposition cadres and supporters whoever they came across," the memorandum said.

The MPs told the Governor that the victims informed them that the entire state was sparked with an unprecedented backlash of terror and intimidation just at the moment the BJP got a majority in the counting of votes of the Assembly election on March 2.

They said that many party offices of the Left parties and the Congress were crushed down or set on fire. In a word, complete lawlessness has been prevailing in the state from March 2 onwards.

The police in many places though are trying to take control of the situation, but they don't dare to arrest any perpetrator because they have an attachment with the ruling BJP. In some places, rather the police act as abettors to the attackers. That is why, though thousands of incidents of attacks have been reported, so far, hardly there is a report of the arrest of any culprits.

All the victims who lost dwelling houses, lost professional resources to earn livelihood and caused huge financial burdens for treatment must be provided relief from the government, the MPAs told the governor.

Meanwhile, the BJP denied the accusations of the parliamentary team.

Demanding thorough probes of all the incidents, BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that there is a serious conspiracy to break down the law and order and to disturb the peace in Tripura.

"For the survival of the opposition Congress and CPI-M leaders, they are doing all these campaigns against the BJP government to gain political mileage," he told the media.

Bhattacharjee claimed that before the February 16 assembly polls, the opposition leaders threatened the BJP leaders and workers to take action if they came to power.