January 03, 2021

Tripura: Law and order under whose hand?

Haripada Das

HAVING failed to address hardly any urgent issue that the major section of the people of Tripura are suffering from, the ruling BJP has fielded their paid goondas to physically throttle opposition voice by unleashing inhuman attacks and torture with the patronage of a section of the police.

On December 20, one such fatal attack was carried on targeting Pabitra Kar, a CPI(M) state committee member, West Tripura district secretary and former deputy speaker who was elected in the assembly for five terms, at his house at Khayerpur of West Tripura district. The attack was launched at broad daylight and in presence of police.  

At the call of the ongoing kisan movement in the country, a programme of paying homage to the kisan martyrs in Delhi kisan movement was going on at his house. Since the inception of the BJP regime in March 2018, the area was inaccessible for any CPI(M) cadres and leaders. Thus, the police were informed in advance about the above programme.  The programme was attended by several hundred party cadres mostly youth of that locality. 

After the programme, when a brief meeting of youth was going on, the BJP miscreants suddenly raided the house and pelted stones indiscriminately inside the house, broke open the gate and started striking the participants with lethal weapons like lathis and sharp-cutters etc. They inflicted fatal injuries to six activists who were trying to resist the attack.  Among the injured include Pabitra Kar himself, local committee secretary-Swada Ranjan Deb and others. Swada Ranjan Deb was seriously wounded on the head and referred to Kolkata for special treatment. The miscreants also extensively damaged the car of Pabitra Kar, 20 bikes and an e-rickshaw of the party cadres. Though under attack, the Party youth resisted the miscreants and ensured that the attackers leave the place. Later, the BJP mobilised their workers in bigger number and kept the house of Pabitra Kar gheraoed for the whole day. Three media persons while covering the events on road were also harassed. During this regime, the house of Pabitra Kar has been attacked several times by the BJP goons. 

On that night, the bike-ridden rowdies of the ruling BJP party unleashed extreme terror in the locality by roaming on lanes and by-lanes of the village. Targeting the CPI(M) supporter families, they raided 31 houses. They set several houses on fire. The other houses were ransacked, looted the valuables like ornaments and physically tortured the inmates.

At 11 pm on December 25, 2020, BJP miscreants with a mask on their face carried on raids on the selected five houses of SFI and DYFI leaders at Ramnagar of Agartala town. The house of SFI leader Joydeep Rout was set on fire spreading petrol surrounding it. Other houses were extensively vandalised. The same night, BJP miscreants set fire to the Melaghar local committee office of CPI(M) which was not far off from the police station and miscreants prevented the firemen who were rushing to douse the fire. The office was completely gutted.

Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member and leader of the opposition decided to visit the houses of the victims along with five other MLAs on December 22. But prior to his visit, the police informed that all roads bound to Khayerpur were blocked by the BJP cadres and requested him to wait till their next feedback. But no feedback was received and the visit was forced cancelled.

On the same evening, Manik Sarkar severely lashed out the joint effort of the ruling BJP and the government to paralyse the movement of the opposition. Manik Sarkar explained the situation which forced MLA team to postpone their visit. He said, a government smoothly runs if the people and the government have mutual trust. When a government works against the people to serve a handful of vested interests and it is exposed to the people, the government concerned do not hesitate to throw away the veil of democracy. This is happening in the state at present. None of the cosmetic promises that were made during the assembly election could be implemented by the government. Rather, multi-pronged attacks, financial, social and political are being mounted day by day. The people, in general, are presently openly expressing their mistake by changing the regime by vote. This populous reaction percolated inside the ruling BJP party also. A section of them is frantically trying to stop gradual alienation from the people, at least by changing the head of the government.

Referring to the attack in Khayerpur on December 19-20, Manik Sarkar said, those who carried on this cowardly attack, were not booked by the police. On the contrary, they opposed the visit of the opposition MLAs who enjoy every right to meet victimised people. The people will resolutely stand in resistance example of which is the ongoing kisan movement in Delhi, Manik Sarkar said.

Innumerable similar incidents of attacks are taking place in the state targeting CPI(M) leaders, workers and even common supporters. Though most of the attacks are left without lodging any FIR. Wherever a limited FIRs are made, considering complainants belong to CPI(M), the police hardly take any action. Following are the figures of such attacks on the CPI(M) leaders, cadres and supporters since the inception of the BJP-led rule in the state; March 2018 - September 2020. 

Attack on CPI(M) offices
1.     No. of party office set on fire                                                                                                                        139
2.     No. of party office raided/vandalised, (Some of the offices were raided and attacked  7/8 times.)             346
3.     No. of party office occupied (most of the occupied and locked party offices were recaptured later)           69
4.     No. of party offices put under lock (most of the occupied and locked party offices were recaptured later) 60
Attack on the houses of CPI(M) leaders, cadres and supporters
1.     No. of Houses gutted                                                                        190
2.     No. of Houses either ransacked, looted or attacked                       2871
3.     No. of Shop gutted                                                                           187
4.     No. of Shop ransacked, looted                                                         375
5.     No. of Fisheries looted, poisoned                                                      68
6.     No. of rubber plantation cut down or gutted                                   70
7.     No. of car, bike burnt down or damaged                                        127
8.     No of Left mass organisation  offices attacked, occupied, locked  200

Physical assaults on the left workers, supporters
1.     Murder of CPI(M) leaders, workers                               18
2.     Total No. of attack on individuals                             2656
3.     Among them Women                                                 236
4.     Among them hospitalised                                           383

Apart from fascistic terror on the Left, now let us see how is the general law and order situation in a tiny state with a population of nearly 40 lakh.         


After a lull for several years, the extremists are again showing their fangs. One Litan Debnath, a grocery shop-owner of Damcherra, North Tripura District was kidnapped at gunpoint on November 27. After 10 days, on December 7,  three construction workers (two non-tribals and one tribal) engaged in raising barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border were dragged away by the extremists. According to media, three labourers were released at the cost of Rs 16 lakh as a ransom on December 23.

The former Left Front government raised 13 TSR battalions to combat the extremists and set up TSR camps in most of the vulnerable points of Indo-Bangladesh border of the state. But the present BJP-led government had withdrawn most of the TSR camps leaving the extremists free passage to unleash onslaughts on the villagers. Several TSR Battalions are now serving in other states including Delhi endangering the security aspects of the state. The extremists are serving notices for a subscription of huge amount to many people in Gandachhara, Longthorai Valley Sub-Divisions of Dhalai District.  


On December 2, Dr Tamal Sarkar of Khowai District Hospital was mercilessly beaten up inside the hospital while he was on duty by the so-called BJP leader. The doctor denied leaving the hospital duty to see a patient who was waiting in a car in front of the hospital and politely asked the BJP leader to bring the patient into the hospital. This denial cost him dearly. Doctor Sarkar was mercilessly beaten up inside the hospital before other hospital staff and patients and heckled. The BJP leader did not stop there.  He even looted away from the hospital two oxygen cylinders, which were, indispensable for the treatment of heart patients. The atmosphere was so panicked that the hospital authority had no courage to lodge complaints to the police instantly. After two-three days, the doctor, however, lodged a complaint without mentioning the name of the culprit. Several months earlier, the BJP gang of miscreants raided the house of Dr Sarkar, ransacked his house, broke away his car and bike. Expectedly, no one was arrested by the police.

On October 28, 2020, Bhaskar Debbarma, an advocate was physically assaulted in the court premises by the Hindutwa hooligans for his ‘fault’ of appearing in the court for a spouse who was facing litigation for inter-religious marriage. The police though arrested the culprit, due to heavy pressure from the Agartala Bar Council did not want police remand of the accused persons.  The police action in favour of the accused surprised everybody attached with the judiciary and they suspect that these partisan police action might be due to interference of the political leaders inside the government.

Since September 11, the day the chief minister thundered against the media from a government programme, till now about 30 incidents of attack on the media persons took place in the state. Because the attackers carry a label of BJP, the police naturally did not take any action.


Inaction of police on the attacks on the Leftists to serve the ruling party hooligans, had alarmingly percolated to the management of general law and order situation in the state also. Followings are the six months tally of the crimes from June to November 2020 in the state.

Month        Murder                                Rape/gang-rape                         Unnatural death                           Suicide                  Burglary                Others crime                              Domestic violence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Murder    Suicide    Phy-torture

June              4                                             5                                                    2                                                                             4                            13                                     2              1                 3
July               4                                             5                                                   11                                               8                            5                           52                                     7              7                12
Aug              3                                           10                                                     5                                              23                          15                           24                                     6              6                  8
Sept             3                                             6                                                   19                                              10                           22                          24                                     5            10                20
Oct              4                                            10                                                   20                                              10                          18                           23                                     6            10                 9
Nov            12                                             9                                                   31                                              21                          14                           15                                     4            10                 9
Total          30                                            45                                                   88                                             72                           78                         151                                   30            44               61

The encouraging signs of the state are that, in spite of the all-out attempt of trampling down the opposition voice by the government as well as the ruling BJP, the protest demonstrations are escalating day by day with a larger number of participants against non-performance and mal-performance of the government