Who Smashed Lenin’s Statue in Tripura? Left Says it is RSS & BJP
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
A statue of communist icon Lenin has fallen prey to post-poll unrest between political parties in Tripura. The CPI(M), whose 25-year-rule in Tripura has been replaced by a BJP-led alliance, alleges that the statue was reportedly razed down by supporters of a right-wing group in Belonia town on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury accused the BJP and RSS-lined groups of bringing down the statue and being “gleeful” about it. He also hit out at Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, saying the “constitutional functionary” had expressed his happiness over the statue’s destruction.
In response to a Twitter post, Roy had written, “What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa,”
The CPI alleges that ever since the new government has came to power, hundreds of its party workers have been tortured and mane of its offices have been attacked by groups linked to the BJP and the RSS.
According to PTI, 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 5 March at College Square in Belonia.
"After pulling down the statue, 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogans were raised," Datta told PTI.
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.
Faced with allegations of torturing left cadres, the BJP seemed to justify the razing down of Lenin’s statue.
While party MP Subramanian Swamy called Lenin a “foreign terrorist” and questioned the existence of his “statue in India”, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said “if a symbol reignites pain among the people, their right to opinion must be expected.”
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, the SP said.
Meanwhile, a prohibitory order was clamped in several areas of west Tripura, including Srinagar, Lefunga, Mandai, Amtali, Radhapur, Arundhatinagar, Jirania, Mohanpur and many more places following post-poll violence, District Magistrate Milind Ramteke 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).
(With inputs from PTI)
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