Congress calls Tripura shutdown seeking CBI probe into leader’s killing

Agartala, March 30 (IANS) The opposition Congress in Tripura on Wednesday burnt effigies of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, and called for a 24-hour shutdown on April 18 demanding a CBI probe into the assassination of former health minister Bimal Sinha 18 years ago.

“The Congress has called a 24-hour strike on April 18 demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the assassination of Bimal Sinha in 1998 and the resignation of the chief minister,” Tripura Congress president Birajit Sinha told reporters.

“Without the CBI inquiry, the real truth would not be revealed.

“As the Yusuf Commission report accused Sarkar, the Congress has no other alternative to raise these demands and launch a massive stir,” he said.

Birajit Sinha, a former minister — who was accompanied by party legislator Gopal Roy and the party’s women’s wing chief Kalyani Roy — said the Yusuf Commission report blamed the then Left Front government, Left parties and the chief minister.

“Hence, Sarkar has no morality to remain the chief minister and home minister of the state.”

The judicial inquiry commission headed by retired Calcutta High Court Justice M.A. Yusuf submitted its report to the state government in January 2000. It was presented in the assembly on March 23 following a Tripura High Court order.

The commission was formed in 1998 to probe the assassination of Bimal Sinha and his brother by the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura on March 31, 1998, at Kamalpur in northern Tripura.

The ongoing session of the assembly on Monday witnessed bedlam over the assassination.

Commenting on the report, opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman said: “To hush up the real truth, the Left Front government has not cooperated with the inquiry commission. The state government, headed by Chief Minister Sarkar at that time, had rejected the Congress’s demand to probe the assassination by the CBI.”

According to the Yusuf Commission report, neither the state government nor Tripura Police was responsible for Bimal Sinha’s killing. It said he was solely responsible for his and his brother’s killing.

Reacting to the Congress’s allegations, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee member Bijan Dhar said: “Their allegations are wild and a complete lie. If they have any such evidence, why did they not submit the same before the judicial commission when it sought the views of all concerned during the probe?”

Challenging the Congress, Dhar and party central committee member Gautam Das said that if the Congress failed to prove its charges, its members must resign from the assembly.

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