Agartala: Agartala city on Sunday witnessed yet another ugly show of post-poll violence as clashes broke out between the supporters of Congress and the BJP hours after the declaration of by-poll results.
Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president Birajit Sinha had been hospitalized as the senior Congress leaders sustained injuries on his head during the violent face-off.
Several political party activists of both sides sustained injuries during the clashes. To control the situation from spiralling further, central armed forces were deployed and tear gas shells were fired to disperse the angry mob.
Leaders of both the parties accused each other for provoking the violence. The Congress claimed that one of their workers was stabbed by BJP-backed miscreants, while the BJP leaders claimed that a gang of Congress-backed miscreants assaulted one Yuva Morcha activist. He had received 10 stitches on his head, the BJP has claimed.
Later, the residence of BJP corporator, Shilpi Sen, also came under attack and her daughter was allegedly manhandled by the assailants. Both the groups pelted stones at each other, leaving people from both the parties injured.
The rival parties maintained that the clash was a result of retaliation. Police sources said several people were injured during the clash and many of them are undergoing treatment now.
“Tripura Pradesh Congress resident Birajit Sinha also sustained injuries as he was hit by a piece of brick on the forehead. Bleeding profusely, Sinha was shifted to a private hospital for treatment,” said a police official.
To disperse the irate political supporters of both the sides, the police fired tear gas shells and resorted to mild lathicharge. Although the situation was brought under control, a sense of tension continued to prevail across Agartala city.
As soon as the news reached BJP state headquarters, senior BJP leader and law minister Ratan Lal Nath reached the spot along with Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury.
A delegation of the BJP also met West Tripura Superintendent of Police (SP) Bogati Jagadishwar Reddy and sought his intervention to restore peace.
After the meeting, Nath said, “The by-election results are declared today. The Congress party won one seat with the back-hand support of the CPIM, and the BJP performed exceptionally well as per the expectations. As the results largely went against them, they (Congress) hatched a well-orchestrated conspiracy to disrupt the peace.”
The law minister said they had appealed to the police officials to take immediate action against those who were involved with the crime and the whole Congress Bhavan be cordoned off as soon as possible.
“Criminals accused in several sections of NDPS Act are camping inside Congress Bhavan. Their faces should be unmasked before the public,” added Nath.
Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said, “The Congress should be ashamed of the rejection it has faced in the by-elections. They have attacked our party workers, and the residence of our elected corporator was ransacked. These people need to be taught a lesson.”
Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman, however, said, “The source of these clashes was an incident of stabbing. One of our Congress workers was grievously stabbed by miscreants that led to this whole violent face-off. We shall reveal everything very shortly.”
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