TMC claims candidates for urban local bodies attacked in Agartala

While Trinamool Congress on Thursday sat on demonstration in front of Tripura police headquarters at capital city Agartala alleging its candidates for urban local bodies (ULBs) were attacked. The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Tripura police to ensure that no political party is prevented from exercising their rights in accordance with law for political campaigning in a peaceful manner.

Hearing the petition filed by Trinamool Congress Rajyasabha MP Sushmita Dev, a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nathin directed Tripura police to consider the nature of threats.

The Court has sought an affidavit by the Home Secretary of Tripura explaining the steps taken in pursuance to the present order to ensure the elections to urban local bodies in Tripura shall remain free and fair. The Court directed the DGP and the Home Secretary to file a joint report of compliance before the next hearing, fixed after two weeks.

The order stated “We expect that necessary arrangements will be made by the DGP along with law enforcement machinery of the state. We are of the view that since the election process has commenced, it is the responsibility of the respondents to ensure that no party is prevented from pursuing its rights in accordance with law for political campaigning in a peaceful manner.”

With regards to plea for individual security, the concerned Superintendent of Police shall take decision having regard to threat perception with regards to each case and area and take appropriate action with respect to security.

The party alleged its candidate Poushali Deb, an advocate who is contesting for the Agartala Municipal Corporation elections slated for November 22 was attacked by a group of goons.

Subal Bhowmik, TMC convenor for Tripura on Thursday. “She was attacked with the intention of intimidation by a group of around 20-25 miscreants in front of Ranjitnagar High School. They beat up those accompanying her and with sheer bravery, she came out of this situation.”

Sushmita Dev said, “Ever since we have decided to campaign in Tripura, our leaders have been attacked, harassed and intimidated by the goons of BJP and so far, no arrests have been made. They have photographs, videos and CCTV footage of the attackers and yet, the police are mum in this regard”.

A delegation of TMC leaders met Inspector General G S Rao and demanded for the safety and security of the opposition besides ensuring a peaceful civic poll to be held on November 25.

Ruling BJP has wrested 112 of the 334 seats uncontested in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 19 other urban local bodies.

Civic body polls in the state is on November 25.BJP secured the majority in the seven civic bodies in Jirania, Ranir Bazar, Mohanpur, Bishalgarh, Santir Bazar and Udaipur and Kamalpur.

There are 785 candidates of BJP, CPI-M, left parties, Trinamool Congress and Congress are in fray for the 222 seats. There are 20 urban local bodies and counting of ballots will take place on November 28.

The term of the bodies ended in December last year however owing to COVID-19 pandemic elections were not held.

This election is seen as the test of BJP led government’s popularity in Tripura as the state is going to assembly polls in 2023.

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