CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned the pre-planned, barbarous attacks that have been let loose by the BJP on the common people in the state of Tripura and demanded an immediate end to this barbarism.
The BJP dispensation that assumed office taking oath in the name of the Constitution of the country must act upon to stop these dreadful attacks throughout the state on the Left supporters, he said on March 11. Yechury was addressing the press at the CPI(M) Tripura state committee office in Agartala, after an extensive tour of different terror-stricken areas of West Tripura, Sepahijala, Gomati and South districts. Besides Yechury, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, Central Committee members Badal Chowdhury and Gautam Das, state committee member and MP Sankar Prasad Datta were present in the press meet.
In a democratic system, any party or alliance may win while others lose. It is a usual course of democracy. But only on the plea of electoral victory, nobody can unleash such barbarous attacks on opposition supporters. It is a rampant violation of the Constitution. The new government must act upon to ensure security of life and protection of life and properties of the citizens of the state.
Yechury strongly raised the demand to the new state government for compensation to those innocent
families whose houses and other properties have been burnt and destroyed, and looted, whose rubber plantations, shops were burnt, ponds were netted to take away fishes, cattle were looted. He also demanded return of those offices that belonged to the CPI(M), other Left parties and their organisations which were forcibly occupied by the BJP miscreants. If the BJP thinks that, by means of such vandalism and aggression it would succeed in suppressing the dissenting voices in Tripura and in the whole country, it is living in a fool’s paradise. Lenin’s statue may be pulled down by brute power, but not his philosophy which is eternal. The communists faced many adversities in the past, they will overcome this situation also with the help of the toiling masses and democratic people, Yechury said.
Yechury visited several terror-stricken areas in West District on March 11. Next day, he visited many areas of Sepahijala, Gomati and South Tripura districts. He was accompanied by former chief minister Manik Sarkar, Central Committee members Badal Chowdhury and Gautam Das, state committee members Sankar Prasad Datta, Jharna Das Baidya, and Manik Dey, ADC Chief Executive Member Radhacharan Debbarma and others. The team of the CPI(M) leaders visited hundreds of houses of the CPI(M) supporters in these districts. The prominent offices the team visited were the TMSU (Tripura Motor Shramik Union Office) at old Motor Stand, Agartala which was a permanent office constructed by the workers about 50 years back. Now it is forcibly occupied by the BJP workers. The CPI(M) team also witnessed the vandalism and arson of CPI(M) offices at Khayerpur, Ranirbazar, Mandai, Khumulwng etc. The team saw how the Mohanpur Sub-Divisional Committee office of the CPI(M) was turned to wreckage by the BJP supporters after looting its cash. In Belonia of South Tripura District, the team visited the spot where Lenin’s statue was demolished. At Birchandrmanu of Shanirbazar Sub-Division, the office of the “Birchandra Manu Martyrs Memorial Society” was forcibly occupied by the BJP miscreants. This was a society established in memory of the 11 CPI(M) leaders and workers who sacrificed their lives at the hands of the Congress supporters in 1988, while reopening the CPI(M) office that was occupied by them as the BJP is doing at present. The team also visited the CPI(M) Sepahijala District Office at Bishramganj which is kept under lock and key by the BJP supporters.
Expressing his experience gathered during his visits, Yechury said it was a pre-planned drive for annihilation of the CPI(M). Hundreds of houses vandalised, looted or set on fire after loot. The moment the victory of BJP alliance became clear on the day of counting, most of the TMSU (Tripura Motor Shramik Union) offices were captured. Is there any doubt that this could have happened without any well-planned machinations, questioned Yechury. In several offices, they got the captured offices painted afresh to eliminate any evidence of its actual owners.
Yechury demanded the following from the state government:
Firstly, the government must act upon to immediately put an end to barbarous attack on opposition party supporters. Arson has been committed even on the day the CPI(M) team visited Belonia.
Secondly, hundreds of houses of Party leaders, workers and sympathisers were either ransacked, looted and burnt to ashes for no fault of theirs, except that they belonged to CPI(M) or other Left parties supporters. The BJP government must compensate them to reconstruct their houses.
Thirdly, thousands of Left parties workers and sympathisers were subjected to physical attacks by the BJP miscreants. A good number of them are now being treated in various hospitals of the state. The expenditure to be incurred on their treatment must be borne by the government.
Fourthly, extortion of money is going on by the BJP miscreants in large scale throughout the state. In absence of male members, who are hiding else where because of terror, BJP miscreants are threatening women with kerosene cane in their hand and demanding huge cash for their ‘victory celebration’. Otherwise they threaten to set the house on fire. In a democratic country it is hard to imagine, but it is fact in Tripura. This must immediately be stopped.
Fifthly, the Party and mass organisa-tion offices that were forcibly occupied must be returned to their respective party and mass organisation units. To organise themselves under any organisation is a fundamental right of the people.
Lastly, due to this organised drive for creating horror, thousands of working people are rendered homeless and most of them cannot go to their workplaces due to terror. If an atmosphere devoid of any fear and anticipation of being attacked is not restored, the working people will continue to suffer. The primary responsibility of the new government is to restore peaceful fearless atmosphere.
Referring to the demolition of Lenin’s statues, Yechury said we are always opposed to such vandalism.
But what happened at Belonia and Subroom, it proves that the BJP is not able to confront us ideologically.
Lenin’s statue may be broken, but not his ideology, which is eternal, he asserted.
In reply to a query regarding the DGP's claim that the situation in the state is quite normal, he said the
DGP, the head of police administration, is also frightened about his position if he does admit that the situation is abnormal.
MEMORANDUM TO POLICE CHIEF
The CPI(M) has given a memorandum to the Director General of Police (DGP) on March 14, demanding an end to raids and searches of Party offices and trade union offices and arrest of BJP workers indulging in vandalism and arson across the state.
“After declaration of Tripura Legislative Assembly election results, supporters of the new ruling party in the state BJP are continuing their undemocratic violent and terrorist activities unabated. A new kind of attack started since March 12. On that evening, Tripura Motor Shramik Union Office at Negarjala, Agartala, which had been locked by BJP goons since March 4 morning, was unlocked by BJP workers and a rumour was spread that arms were stored in the office.
They filed a false case with the police and raided the office to recover so called ‘arms’ from inside the office.
On March 13, the BJP workers spread another rumour that arms were kept in Manughat office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which is the Sub Divisional headquarters of Longthorai Valley. The police brought one Executive Magistrate and raided and searched our Manughat Office. When the raid and search was going on BJP mobilised their workers in front of our office. In presence of Executive Magistrate, the police thoroughly searched our office and found nothing objectionable. The police have given a clearance certificate in this regard after completing the search.
On March 13 night, BJP supporters gheraoed our Party office at Jolaibari under Santirbazar Sub Division of South Tripura District raising the same rumour that arms have been kept inside the office. CRPF jawans chased the hoodlums later on.
“Today, the police brought a search warrant from the court and searched our Santirbazar Sub Divisional office along with the Executive Magistrate and BJP workers. There is no precedence that police can search office of a political party along with ruling party workers. Not only that they even counted cash of our party kept in the office. We have been informed that three more offices in the Sub Division will be raided and searched by the police along with BJP workers,” the party said in its memorandum.
“Today itself the police are conducting search in our Dhalai
District Committee Office situated at Ambassa. Our party, i.e. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is a national recognized party by the Election Commission of India. It is our constitutional and democratic right to run our party offices and it is duty of the law and order authority to protect the democratic activities of political parties including functioning of their office. But it is most objectionable that at the behest of new ruling party of the state, the police are conducting raid and searches in our party and trade union offices. In a democracy, it is not at all acceptable,” it said.
“Daily Desher Katha is a registered newspaper and categorized ‘A’, (highest category) by the Government
of Tripura. But since declaration of results BJP supporters are preventing circulation of Daily Daily Desher Katha in almost all Sub Divisions of the state,” the Party told the DGP.