Seven structures of trade unions affiliated with the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were demolished in Agartala’s Old Motor Stand area in Tripura on Monday as they were allegedly built illegally on government land, PTI reported. Some offices of the political parties were also razed.
More than 100 illegal structures of political parties have been identified in West Tripura district and the structures will be demolished in the coming days, District Magistrate (West Tripura) Milind Ramteke said. Authorities said the political parties were sent a notice on April 30 and given seven days to remove the structures. The deadline expired on Sunday night and the demolition drive began on Monday morning.
Opposition parties did not deny the government’s claim. However, they objected to the manner in which the drive was being carried out. The CPI(M) claimed that 99 of its offices were served notices.
“It’s true that these structures were built on government land many years ago, but the decision to demolish them is with the intention of suppressing opposition activities in the state,” CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar told the Hindustan Times. “We want the government to withdraw its decision.”
The Congress claimed that 35 of its offices had received notices for being built on government land. “The administration has served the notices without calling an all-party meeting,” Tripura Congress leader Birajit Sinha said.
Congress leaders had staged a demonstration in front of the district magistrate’s office on Monday against the demolition drive. The police had taken them into preventive custody, The Hindu reported.
The CPI(M) warned the government of an agitation if it went ahead with the demolition drive. “It is worse than Emergency,” former CPI(M) minister Manik Dey told PTI. “During that time, a government team had come to bulldoze this office, but pulled back in the face of resistance from the working class.”