Agartala: Two days after political clashes shook Majlishpur (Jirania), the assembly constituency of heavyweight BJP Minister Sushanta Chowdhury under West Tripura district, the Tripura unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party claimed a section of “unruly” Congress workers incited violence.

The BJP statement came shortly after the Election Commission of India ordered the removal of three cops, including an SDPO (Sub-divisional Police Officer) and two OCs. The poll panel noted that the Chief Secretary of Tripura and DGP, Tripura Police, had been asked to ensure a level playing field for all the political parties.

“CS & DGP were directed to ensure a level playing field for all political parties and to initiate strict action against partisan officers. The Commission has directed CS & DGP to take stringent action against the following officers for not taking appropriate action in time: Suspension and immediate removal of SDPO, Jirania sub-division, West Tripura. Immediate removal of Officer-in-charge of Rani Bazar Police Station and Immediate removal of Officer-in-charge of Jirania Police Station”, the ECI directive undersigned by Joint Director Anuj Chandak reads.

The action was taken considering a representation of AICC office bearers. “Based on the representation made by office bearers of AICC dated 19.01.2023 and taking into the account various inputs received, the Election Commission of India decided to call for reports from the State of Tripura vide its letter dated 19.01.2023 on the alleged attack on State-in-charge of AICC in Jirania, West Tripura. The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Tripura were asked to explain why the situation escalated despite a sufficient number of CAPF personnel deployed in the State. The Commission conveyed its displeasure in no uncertain and strongest terms on the violent incident despite the Commission’s strict directions during a visit to the state and thereafter,” the order said.

The election commission also appointed a three-member observer team constituted by Yogendra Tripathy (IAS), Vivek Johri (IPS), B. Murali Kumar (IRS) for the task of looking after the law enforcement issues, intensifying deployment and reporting back to the Commission.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said, “The violence in Jirania is part of the opposition’s sinister design to create unrest in the state. The Election Commission has clearly stated that the Congress workers did not give prior notice to the police administration for the route change. Suddenly they launched an attack on a party office, and we have photographs and videos featuring Congress workers indulging in ransacking and vandalism inside the party office. We have registered two FIRs and also written a letter to the Election Commission of India seeking its intervention to neutralize the evil mindset of the opposition parties.”

The BJP spokesman also debunked the allegations against his party regarding the killing of a TIPRA supporter at Surma (Dhalai District). “The Election Commission has also clarified that the incident was a pure case of monetary dispute going wrong. He had faced two attacks previously, and in the third attack, he lost his life. Some people tried to give the incident a political spin, but the ECI has made everything clear,” said Chakraborty.

When contacted, Chief Electoral Officer Kiran Gitte confirmed the Congress motorcycle rally did not have permission to divert routes and TIPRA worker Pranajit Namasudra’s death was a fallout of a monetary dispute. 

Also Read | EC orders probe into attacks on Cong bike rally in Tripura

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