Tension grips Tripura as Lenin’s statue pulled down

Days after the Left Front was voted out of power in the state, BJP workers allegedly pulled down a statue of communist icon Lenin with an excavator machine at Belonia in South Tripura district.
Tripura’s CPI(M) district secretary Tapas Datta reportedly said the five-feet-tall fibre glass statue, which was unveiled by the party’s politburo member Prakash Karat a few months back, was pulled down allegedly by BJP workers at College Square in Belonia.
“After pulling down the statue, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan was raised,” news agencies quoted Datta as saying.
Superintendent of Police of South Tripura district, Monchak Ipper reportedly said the driver of the JCB excavator machine was arrested and later released on bail.
The statue was due to be handed over to the authorities of Belonia Municipal Corporation.
Meanwhile, prohibitory order was clamped in several areas of West Tripura district including – Srinagar, Lefunga, Mandai, Amtali, Radhapur, Arundhatinagar, Jirania, Mohanpur and many more places following post-poll violence, District Magistrate Milind Ramteke reportedly said.
In the recently concluded Assembly elections, the BJP demolished the Left citadel in Tripura, winning a two-third majority with its ally the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT).
The CPI(M) has accused the BJP and the IPFT of unleashing an “unprecedented reign of terror” throughout the state after the election results were announced on March 3.
CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar reportedly claimed that 514 party activists were assaulted, 1,539 houses of the party activists were attacked and 196 houses set on fire since the announcement of results.
He also claimed that 134 CPI(M) offices were attacked and looted, 64 party offices were set on fire and at least 90 offices of different mass organisations had been occupied allegedly by BJP-IPFT supporters.
“I appeal to the state administration and the ruling parties to stop this violence. In a democratic system, change of government is usual, but violence in such grave form is not acceptable by the people,” PTI quoted Dhar as saying.
The police, meanwhile, said they have received complaints of “post-poll violence” from various parts of the state since Sunday night.
Urging people to maintain peace, the BJP’s state unit president, Biplab Deb, said nobody would be spared if they indulge in violence.
BJP’s state vice president Subal Bhowmick, alleged that CPI(M) activists had assaulted 49 BJP supporters, of whom 17 were hospitalised.