Lenin statues razed in Tripura, post-poll violence continues

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Agartala, March 6 (IANS) The post-poll violence in Tripura continued for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday even as the administration, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) urged everyone to maintain peace.

Calling for maintaining peace, Chief Minister-designate Biplab Kumar Deb repeatedly urged the people not to disturb peace and attack the rival party members.

According to the leaders of CPI-M, two statues of Vladimir Lenin were razed by the BJP activists in Tripura.

“A statue of Vladimir Lenin was knocked down by the BJP activists on Monday night at Sabroom in southern Tripura. The statue was set up a few years back,” Tripura CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said on Tuesday night.

Sabroom is 135 km south of the state capital.

According to an earlier report, an 11.5-feet fibre statue of Vladimir Lenin was brought down with a bulldozer by the BJP activists in Belonia on Monday evening.

“The BJP supporters, chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, knocked down the statue of Lenin near a government college in Belonia,” CPI-M leader Haripada Das told the media earlier on Tuesday.

He said the statue was set up a year ago in Belonia, South Tripura’s district headquarters, around 90 km from Agartala.

“We are getting huge number of reports from different districts on Tuesday about BJP and IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) workers attacking CPI-M members and supporters and demolishing their assets,” Das added.

State’s Governor Tathagata Roy on Tuesday said in a tweet: “What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa.”

Roy is believed to have referred to instances of statues of leaders iconic to other parties demolished or defiled in the past in the state.

A media report said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday spoke to the Governor and Tripura Police chief Akhil Kumar Shukla, requesting them to take steps to control the violence in the northeastern state, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the new BJP government.

Dhar alleged around 520 CPI-M supporters were injured in attacks by rival BJP-IPFT party workers in more than 225 places across Tripura since Saturday, after the declaration of the poll results.

“Arsoning, attacks and loot were carried out in around 1,745 houses. Many rubber gardens and small vehicles, hundreds of small shops, were forcibly occupied, ransacked or burned at around 500 places,” Dhar told the media.

According to him, a middle-aged man Taher Mia died of heart attack when the BJP workers exploded crude bombs in front of his house at Baxanagar in western Tripura on Tuesday.

He said that around 535 party offices and CPI-M’s frontal organisational offices were attacked, forcibly captured and set on fire across Tripura.

“We urge the administration and the BJP party leadership to take adequate measures to stop these post-poll violence immediately,” said Dhar, also a CPI-M central committee member.

On the other hand, accusing the CPI-M for “deliberately provoking and indulging in violence and attacks on BJP supporters”, Tripura BJP vice president Subal Bhowmik said that there have been 49 incidents of attacks on party workers and supporters by CPI-M cadres in the past 48 hours, injuring 17 BJP supporters.

He warned all that law would take its own course against the attackers irrespective of party affiliations.

Meanwhile, following reports of clashes between the workers of the BJP and the CPI-M in different parts of the state, the district administration in several districts promulgated prohibitory orders and deployed additional security forces to foil the post-poll violence.

West Tripura district police chief Abhijit Saptarshi said police have arrested some people in Mandai in western Tripura for indulging in violence.



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