Security forces lobbed teargas shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse hundreds of Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) supporters, mostly women, who were protesting against a rumoured visit of BJP leader Patal Kanya Jamatia at Charilam in Sepahijala district on Friday. Ms. Jamatia, who merged her Tripura People’s Front with the ruling BJP last March, has been facing similar protests wherever she visits, especially in tribal areas.
As the protests turned violent, security forces fired teargas shells and charged batons to restore order, with some people sustaining injuries. Tripura State Rifles personnel were deployed in strength in the area as police officers termed the situation tense but under control.
The situation at Herma locality in Charilam had been tense from the morning over the reported visit of the BJP’s firebrand leader, who was once seen as a challenger TIPRA chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, the current head of the royal family in Tripura. Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarman paid a visit to pacify protestors that the BJP had not assigned Ms. Jamatia to hold any programme in the area.
Charilam Assembly constituency is represented by Jishnu Debbarman, also a member of the royal family.
The opposition CPI(M) held a noisy protest outside the police headquarters against a physical attack on a party leader here on Friday. Bipad Hrishi Das sustained injuries in the assault and was admitted to the G.B. Hospital. The protest at the police headquarters, demanding arrest of the perpetrators, continued for a few hours.
Former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and senior party leaders visited Amtalim where the incident occurred. The CPI(M) blamed the BJP for the incident but the saffron party denied the charge.