May 16, 2021

Despicable Attack on Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) Leaders in Tripura

Haripada Das

IN a reprehensible action, BJP goons attacked former chief minister Manik Sarkar and a group of CPI(M) leaders in Santirbazar in South Tripura on May 10, when they had gone to meet party workers and supporters who were targeted and whose houses and properties vandalised by hooligans of the ruling party a few days before. Besides Sarkar, the CPI(M) delegation included deputy leader of the opposition, Badal Chowdhury, MLA Sudhan Das, former MP Narayan Kar, and leaders of Santirbazar and Belonia sub-divisional committees of the party. The visit was pre-announced and prior intimation was given to the police and the civil administration. In spite of that, the opposition delegation was obstructed by the ruling BJP miscreants in front of the police.  The BJP miscreants used filthy language, hurled brick stones and lathis at the opposition leaders. Under attack, Sarkar asserted: “Even if at the cost of my life and blood, peace is restored, it is welcome. I request them to  calm down and help restore peace in the area.” The CPI(M) delegation returned from the area at the request of the police officer supervising its visit.

The CPI(M) delegation was visiting party leaders and supporters who were attacked by the BJP goons on May 5. The attack came when they were observing Karl Marx’s 204th birth anniversary, which coincided with the foundation day of the Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee, at the CPI(M) Santirbazar sub-divisional committee (SDC) office on May 5. The party office had to be closed due to fascistic terror unleashed by the BJP in the sub-division since March 2018 after it came to power in Tripura. After the programme on May 5, several party SDC members including women were mercilessly tortured, their houses vandalised, their properties destroyed. The wounded were even prevented from going to the hospital. During the opposition delegation’s visit to the area, BJP goons unleashed an attack on them.

This is not the first time that Sarkar has been obstructed from attending his pre-scheduled event. His programmes have been hampered at least five times before -- in Gandachara, Chawamanu of Dhalai district, Khowai, Mohanbhog of Sepahijala district, and Belonia of South Tripura district. In all these places, Sarkar was accompanied by several opposition MLAs and local party leaders. On May 10 afternoon, Sarkar in a press meet narrated the entire event that unfolded in Santirbazar and said the attack should not be seen as a spontaneous action by a handful of unscrupulous, disgruntled elements. Rather, we think, it is an organised move plotted by the top leadership of the ruling party of the state and executed with the help of a section of police officials. Obviously, the aim of this plot was to cripple and paralyse the CPI(M), the main opposition party. Following the recent assembly election outcome, the ‘Communist Spectre’ has gripped the ruling BJP. Thus, they have started destruction and arson of CPI(M) local committee offices in various places. In the last few days, five local committee offices of the CPI(M) were either torched or vandalised in the darkness of night. Some of the offices were ransacked and set on fire 7/8 times since the BJP came to power.

Conspicuously, the chief minister of the state never uttered a single word of condemnation against any incident of heinous attacks on the leader of the opposition, or any of the opposition MLAs. Nor did he make any direction to the police to take stern measures against the perpetrators so that such shameful incident does not recur. Similarly, after the threat against journalists made by the chief minister from a government programme in Subroom on September 11, 2020, more than 30 reporters of various media organisations were physically assaulted, hackled. On this issue also, the chief minister did not express any word in protest. All these are indicative of where the perpetrators are being encouraged from.


The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement on May 10, 2021:

Condemn Attack on Manik Sarkar

THE Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the attack by BJP hoodlums on former Tripura chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member, Manik Sarkar at Santirbazar, South Tripura. In a programme permitted by the Tripura police and the administration, Manik Sarkar
and the opposition team was physically attacked and prevented from visiting the houses of some party leaders and cadres and supporters who were subjected to attacks earlier.

The BJP, showing its true character and colour, is not allowing any democratic activity of the opposition in Tripura. This is unacceptable and will be resisted and rebuffed.