Security man, 11 tribal youths held over Tripura violence

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Agartala, Aug 2 (IANS) A Tripura State Rifles (TSR) man and 11 tribal youths have been arrested for creating ethnic troubles, damaging property and injuring over 30 policemen after spreading a lie that a tribal woman has been abducted, the police said here on Wednesday.

“A TSR Nayek, Rabindra Debbarma, and 11 activists of IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) were arrested and presented before a local court today (Wednesday) for engineering violence in Bodhjungnagar, 20 km from here. They unleashed violence after wrongly claiming that a tribal woman had been abducted,” a police official said.

He said that the court sent the TSR man to seven days’ police custody and the remaining to judicial custody.

“TSR Nayek Rabindra Debbarma will be put under suspension as he is one of the accused in the mayhem that took place on Tuesday. Police are also probing the day-long violence,” the official added.

Hundreds of IPFT activists, claiming that a young tribal woman had been kidnapped, attacked the security personnel with stones and sticks, damaged government and private properties, attacked police station and TSR camps all through Tuesday. Over 30 policemen, including senior officials, were injured in these attacks.

The agitated mobs also damaged electric transformers, huge assets of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation and Bodhjungnagar industrial estate, and set on fire a large number of two-wheelers.

Some people spread the fake news through various social media channels.

The police resorted to a mild lathicharge and brust teargas shells to disperse the mobs, and imposed orders prohiniting any gathering of five or more persons in the area.

The tribal woman, claimed to have been kidnapped, was found in her parental house at Boalkhali under Raishabari police station in northern Tripura’s Dhalai district. “The young woman today (Wednesday) gave a statement before a local court that she was not kidnapped.”

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and opposition Congress condemnded the incident.

The IPFT, in a pre-planned conspiracy, orchastrated the violence to cause law and order problems and ethnic disharmony before the assembly elections in Tripura, a CPI-M statement said.

The IPFT, a tribal based party, earlier blocked the National Highway-8, the lifeline of Tripura, and the lone railway line in the state for more than 10 days from July 10, demanding statehood for the tribals, causing acute shortage of essential items.

–IANS

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