Agartala: Barely a week after Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb claimed that the long-running culture of terror has stopped since the 2018 elections, Opposition leader Manik Sarkar and other CPI-M MLAs were reportedly attacked by a group of miscreants in Santirbazar area of South Tripura district on Monday.
Sarkar was accompanied by deputy opposition leader Badal Choudhury and others. They were on their way to meet party supporters, who were subjected to similar attacks by local miscreants recently, when their convoy was stopped and attacked by hundreds of people in presence of Tripura police personnel.
Later, speaking with reporters, Sarkar, who was also the chief minister of Tripura from 1998 to 2018, said that a series of attacks were carried out by miscreants under the instruction of the state leadership.
“The state leadership is instigating the miscreants to carry out attacks on the opposition leaders. The people will keep doing such incidents and they will not forget all this in future. The way we are being targeted is unacceptable,” Sarkar said.
He also said: “If my blood and life can reinstall peace, prosperity, democracy, law and order in the state, I would not feel sad. But I would still demand for peace and democracy. This has to be stopped and it cannot continue this way,” Sarkar added.
He said that the state has turned into a jungle raj and he requested the people not to let the time go and start the movement against the misrule in the state. “The chief minister had said that no violence has taken place but now what we have seen is that there is no rule of law but jungle raj,” Sarkar said.
Sarkar said that as soon as they reached Santirbazar, they saw a huge number of people standing on both sides of the road raising slogans for them to go back.
“We saw that the youths, who were raising slogans, tried to stop the cars. The police officers requested us to come out of the vehicle and we started walking to reach the houses of our supporters. The Santirbazar police station officer in-charge requested us to return as we could not drive further due to the law and order situation,” Sarkar said.
He also said that the leaders present there decided that they would return since they police had requested them not to proceed further.
“They started pelting stones, bricks, bats, eggs and water bottles when I told the people not to attack the policemen. We did not see any higher authority meeting us on the spot even though we wrote a letter to the director general of police (DGP) informing him about our travel plan. Even in the past, we were stopped by the police from meeting the people and our supporters,” Sarkar added.
Sarkar accused the senior officers of not taking appropriate measures for their travel and said that high-level officers should have been present there. “We feel that instructions were not given from the headquarters to make the travel of the leaders smoother.”
He also said that earlier during the budget session in March, the CPI-M leaders had raised the question over the attack on deputy opposition leader and stopping him from visiting his own constituency The chief minister in response had expressed disappointment and assured that no MLAs would face any difficulty while visiting his area.
“We believe that a section of people from his party are trying to instigate the violence in the state. This is the fear of the BJP from the communists that they have intensified the violence after their failure in four states in the recently-concluded elections,” Sarkar opined.
Meanwhile, reacting on the incident, Tripura law minister Ratan Lal Nath said that the CPI-M leaders were creating issues intentionally. In reality, those who were raising slogans were CPI-M supporters in the past, he said.
“The CPI-M had taken a lot money during its tenure from the youths assuring them job opportunities through the back door. Now, as they are moving in other parts, the old supporters are raising slogans against them,” Nath said.
He also said that the CPI-M’s attempt to create panic would not be successful as people are aware of the 25 long years of misrule by the communists.