A day before the counting of votes for the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), a group of people allegedly attacked leaders and candidates of a newly formed party inside a government office in West Tripura district on Friday. Chairman of the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA), Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, claimed that a group of hooligans, sheltered by a political party, attacked them when they visited the office of the Sub- divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Mohanpur.
The Mohanpur SDM’s office is one of the 16 such offices where votes will be counted for the TTAADC election on Saturday. West Tripura district Superintendent of Police Manik Lal Das said the situation in the area is under control and no one was injured.
“There could be an altercation between the supporters of TIPRA and some people when he (Debbarman ) visited the SDM’s office. But we have not noticed that he was attacked. He reached home at Agartala safely,” Das told PTI. Debbarman, who also contested the TTAADC elections on April 6, said that he went to the SDM office with a candidate to discuss Saturday’s counting process when some miscreants barged into the office and attacked the TIPRA supports with stones and sticks.
Police personnel present there were outnumbered by the attackers, the TIPRA chairman said. “On noticing their activities, I went live on Facebook and showed the reality to the people across the state. How could somebody enter inside the SDM’s office with lathis and iron rods to attack me and other leaders?” he said.
He claimed that Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and the director general of police telephoned him and assured him that action will be taken against the culprits. However, Education Minister and cabinet spokesperson Ratan Lal Nath claimed that Debbarman and the supporters of his party tried to create problems in the SDM office and there was an altercation between them and local people.
Elections were held in 28 seats in the 30-member TTAADC on April 6. Two other members will be nominated by the governor at the advice of the state government. TTAADC covers two-thirds of the state’s land. The tribal people are a strong political force in Tripura as they form one-third of the state’s total estimated 40 lakh population.