Biplab Deb Starts New Innings With A CBI Probe, Renaming Agartala Airport

Pradyot Bikram Manikya DebBarma, the head of Tripura's Royal family and Congress leader, was the first to welcome the decision.

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Biplab Deb also discussed ways to set up a high-level committee to give employees a pay hike.


Agartala:  Tripura's Biplab Kumar Deb government started its innings with a cabinet meeting to order two CBI inquiries, set up a committee to give employees a pay hike and a decision to rename the state capital Agartala's airport after the state's last ruling monarch, also an icon for tribal groups.

The Manik Sarkar government had back in 2010 got a resolution passed in the state assembly to name the airport after nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. But the BJP had backed demands to name the airport after the monarch, accusing the previous Manik Sarkar government's efforts to what it called were efforts to "distort" the royal history and undermine the king's role in developing the state. The BJP had last year celebrated the 110th birth anniversary of Tripura's ruler Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman of the Manikya dynasty.  

Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman is considered the father of modern architecture in Tripura, as the entire planning of present-day Tripura was initiated during his rule. He is also considered one of the pioneers in land reforms.

Pradyot Bikram Manikya DebBarma, the head of Tripura's Royal family and working president of Congress in the state, was the first to welcome the decision.

"Speaking not as a political leader but as a grandson of Maharaja Bir Bikram and the head of the royal house of Tripura I welcome the long due recognition by the administration," he said.

The cabinet meeting also discussed ways to set up a high-level expert body to propose ways and means to raise the salaries and allowances of the state government employees at par with the proposals of the Seventh Pay Commission. 

If implemented, the move would benefit over 2.45 lakh employees and pensioners in the state.

The meeting also decided to examine the legal aspects in handing over the cases of murders of two journalists -- Santanu Bhowmik and Sudip Dutta Bhowmik -- to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

The decision would fulfil the long pending demand of journalists' bodies. 

A local newspaper journalist, Sudip Bhowmik, 50, was shot dead inside the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) second Battalion headquarters at Ramchandra Nagar in West Tripura district on November 21 last year. 

Television journalist Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was hacked to death while covering a demonstration of a tribal-based political party at Mandai, 25 km from Agartala, on September 20 last year. 

Earlier in the day, the CPM withdrew its candidate from the Charilam assembly constituency claiming "extremely terrible situation" in the tribal dominated areas of Tripura "due to massive reign of terror" by the BJP.

The move comes after the poll authorities "remained silent" over the Left's request for postponement of the Charilam poll "until normalcy returned".

Polling could not be held in Charilam on February 18 after the death of the Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate. It was scheduled to be held on March 12.

A CPI-M delegation led by party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday visited many post-poll violence hit areas in the state.

Commenting on the policy decisions, Mr Yechury said: "That is what we will work for. We will review why it (violence) happened. It is a task underway".

A party delegation would travel across the state to take stock of the post poll violence, party sources added.


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