Agartala: A video of an ambulance that was allegedly attacked by Tripura police personnel during the 11-hour strike called by North East Students’ Organisation on January 8 has gone viral across social media platforms.
As per reports, the ambulance was carrying around two protestors to a hospital in Agartala. The tribal youngsters had sustained injuries in police action while opposing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in the Madhav Bari area of Jirania.
The video taken by one of the injured from inside the ambulance, while they were being transported from Kherengbar Hospital to the one at the state capital, shows state police personnel, reportedly from the Tripura State Rifles, stopping the vehicle, hitting it with batons and smashing the windscreen. It also shows the injured men inside the ambulance wailing and crying out loud for mercy.
The protestors were reportedly picketing near the highway at Madhav Bari, about 23 km from Agartala, and by 1 pm in the afternoon of January 8, the administration had imposed Section 144. It was around 2 pm that the police resorted to firing and lathi-charge, which left several injured.
Meanwhile, the police have denied the charges.
The bandh called by NESO was supported by various tribal bodies across the region. The protests were concentrated in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council. Apart from the Tripura Students’ Federation, regional parties such as the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra and other smaller groups were also part of the protests on January 8.
First Information Reports have now been filed against five members of the Tripura Students’ Federation for vandalism.
Following the police firing and the circulation of the video, NESO had observed a “Black Day” on January 12, to protest against police action.
With pressure being built, CM Biplab Kumar Deb ordered a magisterial investigation into the happenings of January 8, but the bodies such as the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra have been raising demands for a judicial investigation headed by a sitting high court judge, CM’s resignation, and compensation of Rs 20 lakh as well as government jobs for families of the injured.