Agartala: Political atmosphere in Tripura heated up after Congress strongman candidate for 6-Agartala assembly constituency Sudip Roy Barman was allegedly attacked by BJP-backed miscreants at Ujan Abhoynagar area of the city late on Sunday.

Condemning the incident, Congress Working Committee member Dr Ajoy Kumar said the Congress was apprehending unruly violence in both the city-based constituencies.

“This incident was not unprecedented. We have been anticipating that such kinds of violence would soon be unleashed as Sudip Roy Barman had already won the elections from his constituency. Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, BJP candidate Dr Ashok Sinha and top strategist of BJP’s motorcycle-borne terror squad Arindam Chakraborty were present at the spot where Barman was attacked. We have video evidence of Barman’s vehicle being vandalized by an unruly mob and the minister and other BJP leaders along with cops strolling down the road,” said Dr Kumar.

He said the Congress has lodged a specific FIR against the three masterminds of the attacks with charges of attempt to murder.

“It was a murderous attack. He had sustained injuries on his face, two teeth are broken, and his leg injury is grave. By the mode of attack, it was clear that miscreants tried to hit on his head but he somehow dodged the fatal attack narrowly. With all the evidence and collected information, we are lodging an FIR against the BJP minister, candidate and motorcycle squad head,” said Dr Kumar.    

Meanwhile, the Tripura information and cultural affairs minister rebuffed the Congress allegations against him and said it was a plotted incident to gain sympathy of the voters.

“We have received information that large crowds led by Sudip Roy Barman had gathered with the intention to create nuisance. Accordingly we reached there in order to keep things under control. When we reached, he showed up and all of a sudden he fell down. There was no political clash. A situation of tension was building up with supporters of Congress and BJP gathering at the same spot; we went there to make sure that there is no violence,” said the minister.

He added, “I personally spoke to him and advised him to go home as whatever tension is taking shape, we and the central armed forces deployed in the area will take care of it. All of a sudden, he said ‘you hit me’ and collapsed.”    

On being asked about the vehicle that was vandalized, he said, “We have no idea about the vehicle and when it was vandalized. This whole incident is a well-designed drama staged to get sympathy votes as the Congress is well aware of the fact that BJP candidate Dr Ashok Sinha is winning with a big margin.”

Chowdhury also accused Barman of using outsiders for creating a tense atmosphere in his constituency. “Go and see. He does not have even 40 workers in his constituency. People from Sonamura, Kailashahar and RC Ghat were brought here with these dubious designs in mind,” alleged Chowdhury.

Reacting to Chowdhury’s statement, Dr Ajoy Kumar said, “The minister feels he is the only smart guy in the state and all of us have lost our minds. His statement is full of inconsistencies. The way he speaks and lies in quick succession shamelessly, he should rechristen himself as ‘liar’ or ‘shameless’ instead of Sushanta as the first name.”

The BJP has also filed a counter FIR with East Agartala Police station against unknown miscreants and former MLA Sudip Roy Barman. In the FIR copies, both the parties alleged that miscreants were wielding sharp weapons, firearms and other lethal weapons during the incident. 

Meanwhile, opposition political leaders, cutting across political lines, condemned the attack on Barman. Leader of opposition Manik Sarkar, Left candidate Krishna Majumder and former CPIM MP Sankar Prasad Datta visited Barman at the hospital.

Also read: Tripura Cong nominee attacked with bricks days before by-poll

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