AGARTALA: Congress on Saturday suspended its senior Tripura leader Sudip Roy Barman and 14 youth leaders for anti-party activities and openly criticising central leaders.
Immediately after the announcement of the suspension, their angry supporters ransacked the party headquarters and vandalised furniture, computers and other property.
Protesting against the Congress' electoral tie-up with the Left in West Bengal, many top Congress leaders, including Barman, who is the legislature party leader and leader of opposition in the assembly, quit their posts last month.
"AICC (All India Congress Committee) has suspended Barman and the All India Youth Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Brar has suspended the 14 youth Congress leaders from the party for an indefinite period," state Congress chief Birajit Sinha told reporters.
"The AICC has authorised me to suspend several other disgruntled party legislators and leaders and that would be done soon. I have asked police to take legal actions against those who ransacked the party office."
Congress general secretary V. Narayanasamy has issued a separate letter to Barman suspending him from the party for indefinite period.
At least four Congress workers and two journalists were injured when the agitated party members ransacked the party office here even as a huge police contingent led by senior police officials have rushed to the spot and controlled the situation.
A large number of security personnel were deployed in front of the Congress Bhavan to foil any further violence.
Other senior leaders who have also earlier quit the party on the same issue include state unit's working president Ashish Saha, women's front state chief Kalyani Roy, state Youth Congress chief Sushanta Chowdhury and scheduled caste front head Prakash Chandra Das, besides 32 block presidents and many student leaders.
Barman, in his resignation letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, said: "In spite of your understanding of the CPI-M's unpredictable character, its treacherous role in the past, anti-national thinking and activities and the immense barbaric atrocities upon Congressmen in West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala, you have given the nod to this so-called alliance/seat adjustments."
He said the party's alliance with the Left Front led by Communist Party of India-Marxist in Bengal would have a far-reaching political impact at the national level.
Barman's father and former Tripura chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman, who was also the state Congress president, has also openly criticised the party's central leaders for the pact.
A show cause notice earlier issued by Congress general secretary in-charge of northeastern states Narayansamy also failed to deter Barman as he stood by his position.
Local media reports said that Barman and other dissident Congress leaders might join the Trinmool Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party or to form a local party.