The BJP and Trinamool Congress supporters clashed in the heart of Agartala on Monday following a disagreement over the saffron party’s flag hoisting. The incident left at least 20 people including 11 cops injured. The combat happened regardless of prohibitory orders that were in effect for the festival Holi.
The conflicts started around 4 pm when a BJP leader Jayanta Dey tried to hoist party flags at RMS Chowmuhani area. Soon, Sandip Roy Barman, the brother of Trinamool Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman objected and reportedly assaulted Dey. Later, a few other BJP workers along with the secretary of the party’s Tripura unit Amit Rakshit were also assaulted when they tried to rescue Dey.
BJP workers then lodged a complaint against the accused at the West Agartala Police Station. In no time, a group of TMC workers also reached the police station to protest against the BJP’s allegation against Barman’s brother. Both sides filed complaints against each other.
The argument led to another conflict between the supporters of the two parties outside the police premises in the evening. The clash left six of them wounded including BJP state unit vice president Subal Bhowmik and TMC leader Panna Deb. The cops tried to stop the fight.
“Police and Tripura State Rifles resorted to lathi charge to disperse the mob,” West Agartala superintendent of police Abhijit Saptarshi told HT. “ We are investigating the matter. Till now, no arrest has been made.”
“The Marxists became tense after seeing recent massive political rally in Agartala and BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and they masterminded the clash with the help of Trinamool Congress. It became clear as the Trinamool activists stormed into the police station to stall the police activity after the BJP men came out of the station lodging complaint against the TMC leader’s elder brother. Police administration was mum then,” said BJP’s Tripura observer Sunil Deodhar.
“BJP condemns the incident and will conduct protest movements in a democratic way soon. The Barman family has secret understanding with the Marxist government and it is clear that the latter lent support to the TMC in the clash,” BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb said.
Conversely, TMC MLA Sudip Roy Barman blamed BJP of triggering the fight. “The BJP became overconfident after its victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. The party thought it could be done in Tripura too. The incident is really unfortunate,” Barman said.