A man in Tripura booked by the police last week for spreading rumours of Chief Minister Biplab Deb’s divorce has accused supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of burning down his home, and abducting his mother and brother.
On Tuesday, Anupam Paul wrote on Facebook that his ancestral house in Jatanbari in the southern part of the state had been set ablaze as he had protested against the saffron party’s “vulgar practices”.
“I got the news today [that] my mother and younger brother were kidnapped by BJP hooligans on April 29 night,” Paul added. “There is no news of my family till now.” Paul has been on the run since he was charged with spreading rumours about the chief minister, PTI reported.
Amarpur Sub-Divisional Police Officer Uttam Banik told The Indian Express that while there was a fire, no complaint has been lodged yet about the fire or the alleged abductions. “There has been a fire incident at the house of Anupam Paul at Jatanbari,” Banik was quoted as saying. “But the entire house was not gutted. The kitchen caught fire. There is no complaint about it till now. We have registered a general diary entry.”
BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha refuted the allegations and accused Paul of maligning the party for money.
Paul had written on social media on April 26 that the chief minister’s wife Niti Deb had filed for divorce. After Niti Deb issued a denial, the Tripura Police arrested a freelance journalist and a constable for sharing Paul’s post.
Paul was named in a first information report last year for calling former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar a “thief” and a “beggar” on social media. He had also allegedly photoshopped images of Sarkar, former state Congress President Birajit Sinha and Rose Valley Group Chairperson Goutam Kundu.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday condemned the fire at Paul’s ancestral home. “We condemn what happened at Jatanbari,” said state Congress Vice President Tapas Dev. “If Anupam Paul has committed any crime, law will take its own course. Setting fire to someone’s house means taking laws in hands.”