At least two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters and one Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) member were injured in a clash in South Tripura district, police said on Friday.
The BJP organised demonstrations and protest rallies in Belonia in South Tripura and Agartala on late Thursday night immediately after the incident. The party also held demonstrations across the State on Friday. During a sit-in in front of police headquarters in Agartala, agitated BJP workers shouted slogans against the inaction of police and demanded the immediate arrest of those involved in the attack on party leader Subal Bhowmik and workers in Belonia.
South Tripura police Chief Bhanupada Chakraborty said, ‘At least two BJP supporters and a CPI (M) member were injured following a clash at Belonia in southern Tripura,’ adding, ‘The police is probing the incident and attackers would not be spared whatever be their political identity.’
State BJP President Biplab Deb told reporters that CPI (M) cadres attacked a meeting held by state BJP Vice-President Subal Bhowmik in Belonia on Thursday night. Seven of our party members were injured.
‘We would first protest all CPI (M) attacks and then prevent the assault on BJP workers, and finally we would urge upon the party members to retaliate such attacks. We have given 24 hours time to the Left Front government to arrest the culprits involved in the Thursday’s incident,’ said Deb accompanied by Bhowmik, a former Congress legislator who joined the BJP.
‘Such goondaism would not be able to stop the growth of BJP in Tripura. We would continue our organizational work. We would also apprise Governor Tathagata Roy of the situation,’ said the BJP State chief.
The CPI (M) Belonia Divisional Secretary Tapas Datta, on the other hand, accused the BJP supporters of attacking and injuring two of his partymen during a rally organized on Thursday by the CPI (M) members and supporters to protest a hike in petrol and diesel prices.
Two other CPM supporters were missing after the incident, he added.
Demanding arrest of BJP leader Subal Bhowmik, Datta pointed out, ‘Bhowmik was giving a hate speech in a communally sensitive area Thursday night. His speech might create trouble in the mixed population in bordering areas.’
Meanwhile, heavy security arrangements were made both in Agartala and bordering Belonia to prevent any further trouble.