GUWAHATI: Nearly 100 people were injured, some of them grievously, and several vehicles set ablaze in clashes between the supporters of a tribal-based political party and non-tribals during a rally in Tripura capital Agartala on Tuesday.
The rally was organized by tribal-based ‘Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura’ (IPFT) to mark its eighth ‘Tipraland’ Statehood Demand Day.
The violence broke out around noon when a non-tribal woman and her child were trying to cross a road through a gap in the rally. When they were trying to do so, some IPFT supporters attacked them, injuring them grievously. Later, sections of those in the rally went on the rampage, attacking pedestrians and shopkeepers and torching vehicles.
Retaliation by the non-tribals followed soon when news about the attack on the mother-child duo spread far and wide.
Official sources said Section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in Agartala to thwart any untoward incident. The situation was said to be tense but under control.
IPFT leader Rajeswar Debbarma told Express that over 50 workers and supporters of the party were injured and hospitalized.
Between 1984 and 2008, August 23 had been observed as ADC (Autonomous District Council) formation day. But from 2009, the IPFT has been observing the day as separate statehood demand day.
The clashes on Tuesday coincided with by-election under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in the Simna-Tamakari seat.
The BJP criticised the state’s Left Front government for the clashes.
“The incident occurred due to failure of the administration. And what made the government to hold the by-elections
today when it was aware of the IPFT’s statehood demand programme?” asked BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb.