Agartala: Clashes between two communities over a parcel of forest land left several people injured near Raiabari ADC village areas of Killa under Gomati district of Tripura on Monday morning. Police said it was a long-standing dispute and a case is being heard in the local court on the issue. 

According to locals, the piece of land that emerged as the bone of contention between two communities belongs to the state government. Locals from the indigenous communities alleged that 28 Muslim families encroached the reserve forest areas and started living there. The Muslims families claimed that they were allowed to stay on the land and their petition is being heard in the Court. The settlement is still pending. 

SDPO Udaipur Dhurba Nath said, “The problem between these two communities is a regular feature of the area for the last couple of years. The land settlement is still pending in Court and before that no one should be allowed to carry out any construction in the area. The trigger point of the clash was some maintenance work that was started on the land and invited backlash in the form of violence.”

In fact, heavy security has been deployed even in the night times as well to avert any untoward incident, Nath told EastMojo.

“So far, eight to ten people have been hospitalized and all of them are out of danger. The injured persons include people from both the sides,” he said.

Tension prevailed in the area after people from the indigenous communities allegedly launched an attack on the Muslim settlement and started thrashing people indiscriminately. Women and children were also allegedly manhandled and assaulted.

Tensions escalated when villagers retaliated and frenzied locals set a police car on fire. Massive police presence has been deployed in the area.

Speaking on the issue, a local said, “We have been repeatedly threatened to vacate the land. Even during the lockdown we had been served notices to shift our houses from where we are staying now. We have challenged the notice in the Court but the matter is yet to be resolved.”

Another local from the Muslim settlement said, “The attackers were wielding sharp weapons, slingshots and spades. We have informed the police but they did not act swiftly. Even their car was set afire.”

However, no one from the local indigenous community wanted to react to the issue.

Some sources said the land was illegally encroached which by virtue of being forest land belongs to the indigenous people and they should be the custodians of the land.

Also read | CPI(M) trying to divide tribals from others for political gain: Tripura CM

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