TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of Mookerjee Statue

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The Lenin statue that was brought down in Tripura’s Belonia on 5 March. 

Lenin Statue Razed Down by Right-Wing Supporting Vandals

On 6 March, a video emerged showing right-wing supporters razing down a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin with an excavator machine in the state’s Belonia town. The video shows the statue, located in the Belonia College Square, being torn down by people wearing t-shirts reading “Chalo Paltai”, while raising chants of “Bharat mata ki jai.”

The act was initially lauded by none other than the BJP’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav who tweeted (and later deleted the tweet) in favour of the act.

 TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of  Mookerjee Statue

Even the Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy seemed to have been in support of the violent act.

Tripura CPI(M) district secretary Tapas Datta 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 on Monday, 5 March, at College Square in Belonia, about 110 kilometre from Agartala.

Superintendent of Police of South Tripura district, Monchak Ipper said the driver of the JCB excavator machine was arrested and later released on bail.

The statue would be handed over to the authorities of Belonia Municipal Corporation on Tuesday, the SP had said.

A number of other citizens, including politicians from other parties expressed shock at the violent nature of the act, which came just two days after the BJP’s victory in the state, stating that it was an indicator of the times to come.

The CPI(M) accused the BJP and the IPFT of unleashing an "unprecedented reign of terror" throughout the state after the election results were announced on 3 March.

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar 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.

JD(U) MP Harivansh also condemned the incident. He told ANI, "This is wrong. People of this nation believe in different ideologies. It is true that Lenin's statues were demolished after end of ruling in Russia. But India is not Russia, all ideologies should be supported here. Lenin brought a huge revolution in 1917 for poor."

7:58 AM, 06 Mar

CPI(M) Workers Allegedly Attacked, Party Offices Vandalised

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar 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," Dhar told PTI.

The BJPs' state vice president Subal Bhowmick, at a press conference, told PTI: "A section of unidentified BJP supporters, who have migrated from the CPI(M) were creating unrest in parts of the state. Anyone found involved in violence would be immediately expelled and legal action taken against them".

He alleged that CPI(M) activists had assaulted 49 BJP supporters, of whom 17 were hospitalised.

(Source: PTI)

7:58 AM, 06 Mar

Rajnath Singh Intervenes

Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Tripura governor and the DGP on 6 March, asking them to ensure peace till a new government is installed, an official said.

7:58 AM, 06 Mar

Section 144 Imposed, Three Arrested in "Post-Poll Violence"

Cases of sporadic violence have been reported from Tripura, less than two days after the BJP-IPFT alliance toppled over the 25-year-old rule of the CPI(M) in the state, ousting the Manik Sarkar government in the Assembly elections.

On 6 March, Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in certain areas, after reports of clashes between rival political groups in different parts of the state.

According to NDTV, three people have been arrested in what the police described as "post-poll' violence.

"The cases include arson at two CPI(M) offices at Sidhai area in West Tripura district, 25 km from Agartala, and clashes between CPI(M) and BJP supporters at Kadamtala in North Tripura district", the Superintendent of Police (Control) Pradip De told PTI.

11:32 AM, 06 Mar

Yechury Slams BJP-RSS For Tripura Violence; BJP Says it 'Doesn't Practice Culture of Violence'

Reacting to the incidents of violence in Tripura, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said:

The violence in Tripura clearly indicates the tendency of the RSS-BJP. They don’t have a political future, apart from engaging in violence. The people of Tripura will give an answer.
Sitaram Yechury

Meanwhile, BJP leader Nalin Kohli asserted that his party "does not ever practice culture of violence".

In places like Tripura, Left parties have chosen to be silent about 11 BJP workers who were killed. Some of those who support Left parties are trying to foist these kind of debates that a statue is removed.
Nalin Kohli, BJP

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar alleged that nine BJP workers in Tripura "were killed because of Marxists".

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