Days after winning assembly polls in Tripura, BJP supporters allegedly bulldozed Lenin's statue
Agartala: Left party CPM's general secretary Sitaram Yechury has announced country-wide protests, accusing the BJP of "thriving on political violence" as clashes broke out between supporters of the two parties in Tripura after assembly election results were announced. The BJP swept the election, uprooting the CPM after 25 years in power. In a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CPM Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, Mohd Salim, has alleged that "goons of BJP have unleashed terror and all round attack on members and supporters of CPI-M...we request your immediate intervention to stop these attacks." A statue of Russian Communist icon Vladimir Lenin, in middle of Belonia town in south Tripura, was razed with bulldozers. Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, has spoken to Tripura's police chief asking him to ensure law and order till a new government is in place. The BJP's Biplab Kumar Deb will take oath as chief minister on Friday, March 9.
Here are the top 10 developments in this story:
A statue of Lenin was razed in Belonia, allegedly by BJP supporters who had brought the bulldozer; Monchak Ipper, Superintendent of Police of South Tripura district said the driver of the JCB excavator machine was arrested but later released on bail.
Tripura CPM district secretary Tapas Datta claimed, BJP supporters chanted Bharat mata ki jai while pulling down the five-feet-tall fibre glass statue, which was unveiled by politburo member Prakash Karat a few months ago.
"We are against intolerance of any kind and we don't support this," said Sunil Deodhar, who is thought to be the architect of BJP's sweeping victory in Northeast.
Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy, tweeted supporting the bulldozing of Lenin's statue; Ram Madhav tweeted hailing the act, then deleted it.
CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury has announced country-wide protests after Lenin statue was vandalised; Mr Yechury said violence in Tripura shows the "actual character of RSS...who use the instrument of political violence for political gains"
Police have banned gatherings of more than four persons in several areas of West Tripura district including - Srinagar, Lefunga, Mandai, Amtali, Radhapur, Arundhatinagar, Jirania and Mohanpur, following post-poll violence.
"There has been sporadic violence and we are talking to political parties as well to control their cadre" Abhijit Saptarshi, Superintendent of Police, West Tripura, told NDTV.
CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar claimed over 500 party workers were assaulted, 134 offices were attacked and looted and 64 have been set on fire allegedly by BJP-IPFT supporters.
State BJP vice president Subal Bhowmick, alleged "A section of unidentified BJP supporters, who have migrated from the CPM were creating unrest in parts of the state. Anyone found involved in violence would be immediately expelled."
Mr Bhowmick alleged that CPM activists had assaulted 49 BJP supporters; 17 of whom have been hospitalised.