The opposition CPI(M) in Tripura alleged that one of its activists was killed and 12 others, including former finance minister Bhanu Lal Saha, were injured in an attack by supporters of the ruling BJP in Sepahijala district on Wednesday.
The BJP denied the allegation, claiming that the opposition party was trying to foment trouble in Charilam area and when its supporters attempted to resist it, a clash broke out.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Bishalgarh BB Das said the police brought the situation under control immediately, and the exact number of casualties was yet to be ascertained.
Saha, the former minister, said hundreds of CPI(M) supporters gathered at the party office in Charilam to give a deputation to the Block Development Officer (BDO) over various demands.
“Our leaders were addressing a rally in front of the party office around 1.30 pm before marching to the BDO office. Suddenly, a group of BJP-backed miscreants hurled bombs at the rally. When our party workers started fleeing, they started assaulting us with lathis and iron rods," he alleged.
“One of our leaders — Sahid Miah, a resident of Aralia, succumbed to the injuries he received on his head while undergoing treatment at the Govind Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital. Twelve to fifteen of our party supporters were injured in the attack," he claimed.
The SDM said that he has asked for a report from the police.
The officer-in-charge of Bishalgarh police station Badal Chandra Das said, “There was an untoward incident in Charilam and some persons were injured, but I can not officially state if any death has occurred. The injured persons were admitted to a nearby health facility." Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, the MLA of Charilam, said Saha was responsible for the violence ahead of the assembly elections.
“Over the last few days, the former minister has been trying to control Charilam by hiring goons from Bishalgarh. Today, he made the same attempt again and our workers resisted it, leading to the clash. Historically, it is a peaceful area," he alleged.
CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury visited the injured party workers at GBP Hospital.
“Our workers and supporters were mercilessly assaulted by BJP goons in the presence of police. Today’s incident is nothing but a true demonstration of what is happening in Tripura in the name of ‘sushasan’ (good governance)," he said.
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