At least 28 people were injured in Belonia in South Tripura on Thursday in clashes between suspected Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers, The Indian Express reported. Assistant Inspector General Smriti Ranjan Das said 10 policemen were among the injured.
While a few policemen sustained minor injuries, three suffered head injuries and were referred to Gomati District Hospital at Tepania. They are in a critical condition.
The clashes started after unidentified people pelted stones at the vehicle of senior CPI(M) leader Himangshu Roy when he was on his way to meet District Magistrate Debapriya Bardhan and report previous attacks on his family. The police had to resort to lathicharge and fire tear gas shells to control the crowd.
Supporters of the ruling BJP and the Opposition party then approached the Belonia police station to register First Information Reports against each other. The police have registered a suo motu case in connection with the clashes.
An unidentified police official said Roy, the Left party’s South Tripura Zilla Parishad chief, was given protection and the police personnel trying to shield him were also attacked. CPI(M) Belonia Sub-Divisional Secretary Tapas Dutta claimed that “BJP-backed hooligans” were responsible. He sought immediate action against those responsible.
“Such attacks are attempts to silence the voice of Opposition through murderous assault,” said CPI(M) state office secretary Haripada Das. BJP spokesperson Ashok Sinha, however, said he had no information about the incident. “As of now, I do not know what happened there,” he said. “I am trying to find out the details.”
Aeast 20 supporters of the CPI(M), including a few party senior officials, were injured in a clash in Belonia last month.