Fresh tension triggered on December 1 in Tripura after police allegedly took away the body of Sahid Mia (65), who was killed in a clash between the supporters of ruling BJP and opposition CPIM on November 30 at Charilam market in Sepahijala district.
The angry supporters led by CPIM state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury gathered at the police headquarters in Agartala demanding to return the body of Sahid to perform his last rite as Islamic rituals.
The party workers raised slogans in front of the main gate accusing police of protecting the murderers and safeguarding the BJP cadres.
The demonstrators alleged that police resorted to charging batons on the family members and relatives of the deceased and CPM workers who assembled at Agartala Government Medical College to receive the body from the morgue.
Allegedly, police prevented the family members from receiving the body saying that after legal formalities the body would be handed over to the family members but not in the hospital.
Aggrieved with the police, they blockaded the exit of the mortuary van in the hospital, which resulted in police lathi-charge to the crowd to clear the road and move out from the hospital. Thereafter, hundreds of CPIM supporters and leaders gathered at PHQ demanding the return of the body.
The CPIM leaders and police officers were found engaged in hot exchanges and sat on the road preventing traffic movement.
Addressing the gathering CPIM secretary Chowdhury alleged: “Police illegally snatched away the body from the family members, which amount to be a violation of the fundamental right of the citizens and also, hurt the religious sentiment of the deceased family, as police didn’t respect the body according to Islamic rituals.”
He warned unless the police, being the protector of people’s rights don’t follow the law and disrespect the spirit of the constitution, people have to react for asserting their rights. “It is clear from the incidents, especially in Sepahijala police are working for BJP cadres and helping them in attacking opposition supporters – we want the intervention of high court and Supreme Court to bring the police in order,” he added.
Chowdhury alleged that FIR has been lodged against 28 main culprits of the attack on the CPIM rally, the killing of Shahid, and indulging in violence but none of them were arrested. Instead, police targeted the CPIM victims who were beaten up mercilessly in front of a large contingent of police force including SP and SDPO, and launched haunts on a fabricated charge.
“People have identified the police personnel, who indirectly helped BJP cadres to unleash violent attacks on CPIM for a long time and the reaction of deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma to the violence on social media made it clear that it was pre-planned with his direction. We demand him to be arrested immediately,” Chowdhury added.
Besides Sahid Mia, at least 25 workers of both parties including the former finance minister and CPIM MLA Bhanu Lal Saha were injured in the clash.
The CPIM alleged that 12 of its supporters were injured in an unprovoked attack unleashed by BJP miscreants at their rally in the broad daylight with pelting stones and then attacked with weapons. However, BJP denied it and claimed the reverse.
Meanwhile, police sources claimed so far four persons from both parties were arrested in connection with their involvement in the incident, and search operations against other accused are going on, and added, “The dead body was kept in police custody to prevent further escalation of tension, as CPIM wanted to hold a rally with the body. There was no violation of rule and law; whatever police did was for maintaining peace.”