BJP crushing democracy in Tripura: Activists

“An undeclared Emergency-like situation prevails in Tripura ever since the BJP-IPFT alliance won the Assembly polls on March 3. Law and order has collapsed.”
Medha Patkar

Agartala, Aug 6: The BJP is trying to wipe out multi-party democracy in Tripura, a group of pro-Left leaders said after visiting the state.

A fact-finding team comprising farmer and political leaders observed: “An undeclared Emergency-like situation prevails in Tripura ever since the BJP-IPFT alliance won the Assembly polls on March 3. Law and order has collapsed.”

The seven-member team said in their report released to the media on Sunday evening: “Murder, dacoity, looting, arson and atrocities on women, minorities, Dalits, adivasis and the poor from all communities are rampant.”

The teams included Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar, All India Kisan Sabha President and CPI-M leader Ashok Dhawale, All India Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary and CPI (ML) (Liberation) leader Rajaram Singh, CPI-M Rajya Sabha member K.K. Ragesh and three Tripura MPs – Jitendra Chowdhury, Sankar Prasad Datta and Jharna Das Baidya.

Medha Patkar said: “No action was taken by the administration and the police in spite of hundreds of FIRs having been filed by the victims of the hundreds of political violence. An atmosphere of fear and terror prevails in large parts of the state.

“The entire opposition in the state is being sought to be wiped out, with the Left being the main target, but other opposition parties like the Congress have also not been spared.”

She said that a 73-year-old library, set up by Tripura’s first tribal based organisation Tripura Upajati Gana Mukti Parishad at Durgachowdhury Para in western Tripura, was destroyed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Farmer leader Dhawale said: “One third of the elected leaders of local bodies – Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samities and Urban municipal bodies – were forced to resign under dire consequences.”

The fact-finding team said that after the BJP-IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) took power on March 3, ruling party goons poisoned over 40 fishing ponds, looted as many poultry farms and destroyed or burnt down 54 rubber gardens owned by Left party supporters.

According to the report, during the five-month rule of BJP-IPFT government, 112 incidents of rape, molestations and attacks on women occurred by the ruling party hoodlums.

“Four CPI-M members and leaders have been murdered.” Another 1,047 Left activists, including 113 women, have suffered injuries after attacks by BJP, IPFT and RSS workers.

“Around 633 offices of the CPI-M and Left parties have been burnt, attacked or captured. Close to 200 offices of the Left mass organisations have been attacked and nearly 150 have been forcibly occupied. Over 2200 houses belonging to Left party leaders and supporters were burnt down, demolished or ransacked.”

The ruling BJP rubbished the allegations.

BJP spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb said that when Medha Patkar spoke against the then Left Front government in Bengal, the Left leaders vehemently criticised her. Now they were using the NBA leader to secure political mileage.

“Left parties are conspiring against the BJP government,” Deb told IANS.

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