15 hurt as clashes erupt over filling of nomination papers ahead of panchayat by-elections on September 30
Agartala: The infighting between Tripura’s ruling partners, the BJP and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), comes to the fore once again after 15 supporters belonging to the parties were injured on Tuesday following clashes over the filling of nomination papers ahead of the panchayat by-elections scheduled on September 30.
Police sources said that clashes erupted between BJP and IPFT supporters over filing of nomination papers in Khowai, West Tripura and Sipahijala districts on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, sources alleged, IPFT members attacked the residence of BJP legislator Birendra Kishore Debbarman, who was not at home at that time, and assaulted his family members at Golaghati, sources alleged.
Last week, state law and education minister Ratan Lal Nath, also the chairman of the BJP’s panchayat election committee, announced that the party would field candidates for all the 3,386 vacant seats. However, the IPFT leaders did not support the decision.
Sources further claimed that intra-party clashes also erupted on Monday evening and police had to resort to lathicharge to control the situation. Almost 15 members of the BJP and the IPFT were injured during the clashes, which broke out when IPFT members went to file nomination papers.
Sources further said that bombs, explosive materials and sticks were hurled among the warring groups forcing the police to open fire in the air. The candidates from the IPFT failed to submit nomination papers because of the clashes.
Meanwhile, security forces have been deployed in various conflict-hit areas of the state.
The by-elections to a record number of 3,386 vacant seats of gram panchayats (3,207 seats), panchayat samitis (161) and zila parishads (18) were necessitated because of large-scale resignations of elected representatives of Left Parties and death of some representatives.
Meanwhile, life was paralysed on Tuesday over the IPFT-sponsored 48-hour shutdown in the Killa tribal areas.