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ECI seeks report on political violence in Tripura


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Agartala: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday directed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Tripura to submit the inquiry report by Friday on the political violence recently perpetrated on opposition CPI-M and Congress allegedly by ruling BJP cadres.

In a letter, ECI ordered the CEO to conduct an inquiry into the incident of political violence in Jirania soon after the announcement of the poll schedule on Jan 18 and 54 other incidents of violence allegedly happened in the recent past against the leaders and workers of Congress and CPI-M.

“You are requested to obtain a report from DGP through Chief Secretary, Tripura, and submit the report by tomorrow at 3 PM on Friday,” ECI letter to CEO Kiran Gitte reads enclosing the representations of CPI-M and Congress to CEC stating that BJP cadres with the instigation and patronize of the party leaders and ministers challenged the Mission Zero Poll Violence of ECI.

Police sources said with the direction from ECI, DGP Amitabh Ranjan sought action taken reports on the complaints received by various police stations of the state regarding violence against the opposition party supporters and leaders recently. The police chief reportedly expressed his displeasure over the inaction of police on the ground regarding the complaints of political violence and attacks in presence of security forces.

The ECI has sent more than 100 companies of central paramilitary force personnel two weeks ago to Tripura to ensure a violence-free election and they were deployed across the state under the jurisdiction of particular police stations but the guiding police officers of Tripura have taken a partisan role in favour of the ruling party and not properly using the forces to prevent the violence and follow the ECI directions, alleged Congress MLA Sudip Roybarman.

“We informed the sorry state of affairs when AICC Secretary and our state in-charge Dr Ajoy Kumar was attacked in front of a huge number of security personnel at Ranirbazar and Information Minister Sushanta Choudhury abused and threatened him with filthy language in the presence of police officers but no action. Surprisingly, IG (CRPF) was there on the spot, and miscreants assaulted our workers in front of him but he didn’t intervene. How can the election be free, fair, and peaceful under such an administration?” Roybarman questioned.

Similarly, hundreds of CPI-M party offices, leaders of the opposition, MLAs, and leaders were attacked in several places in South Tripura, Gomati, Sepahijala, and West Tripura in front of police, and specific FIRs were registered over the last five years under BJP’s rule but police didn’t take even a single action against the criminals instead, implicated false cases against the innocent supporters of opposition parties, alleged CPI-M Secretary Jitendra Chowdhury.

Meanwhile, CEO said three FIRs were registered in connection with the series of violence in Jirania during the motorcycle rally of Congress on Wednesday. At least eight persons have been arrested so far in connection with the incidents, 18 others were identified and an investigation is going on – nobody will be spared, he asserted.

Gitte however, denied the charge of murder of TIPRA Motha worker Pranajit Namasudra at the Surma constituency of Dhalai district on Wednesday night and said, “It was the fall out of a financial dispute – the deceased and the other FIR named accused persons had altercations on December 31 and January 17 night following financial disputes; both the cases were recorded at Kamalpur police station.”

Based on the FIR lodged by the victim’s family, four out of six named accused persons were arrested in connection with the murder incident so far, and a search operation has been going on to arrest others while adequate measures have been taken to de-escalate tension in the area, Gitte said adding, “I met eight political parties on Thursday and requested them to maintain peace and follow the model code of conduct. We shall not compromise our mission to hold a free, and fair election on Feb 16.”

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