Anti-CAB protest turns violent in Tripura; internet, SMS service blocked for 48 hours

The second day of agitation during indefinite strike in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) called by Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a conglomeration of all tribal based regional parties, NGOs and student organizations took a violent turn 0on December 10.

Apprehending further tension after series of violence, Tripura government asked all internet service providers to stop mobile data service and SMS service for next two days. Besides, clamping 144 CrPC in the troubled areas, state government has mobilised extra forces to tackle the further spread of violence while JMACAB announced to continue the protest until CAB is scrapped for Tripura.

At least seven persons including a policeman were injured in the attack of protestors in various markets of North Tripura and Dhalai districts. A fruit vendor identified as Kripasindu Chakraborty in Manughat bazar on national highway has been injured badly when protestors hit his head with sharp cutting weapon after his shop was found open, police said.

Several other shops in 82 miles market, Manughat bazar, Kulai and Nailafa bazar of Dhalai district were gutted after protestors found them open defying the bandh. They set as many as eight motor bikes on fire. The anti-CAB protestors in Kanchanpur ransacked several shops in the market. They allegedly hurled crude bomb in the market and police opened four rounds on air to tackle the situation.

The markets, schools and public institutions in Bishramganj area of Sepahijala district and Udaipur and Amarpur of Gomati district were shut down late in the afternoon when protestors started gathering. The protestors prevent the movement of the vehicles in heart of the city and disrupted the movement of the school and office goers in the morning.

Tripura government warned the protestors to stop all sorts of movement immediately, which affects commoners life severely and the administration would not sit idle to restore normalcy. The spokesperson of the state government Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said they took a serious view on the situation.

“Every political party may have some demands but the protest should be done in democratic way that does not affect state’s interest or commoners’ life. Destructive activity in the name of protest is not at all acceptable and the state government would not allow this thing to happen. Once union home minister made open commitment in the floor of parliament to protect the interest of all concerns in CAB, the agitating groups must respect it and to wait and see,” Nath stated.

The JMACAB leaders stated that they will continue the agitation and even if it is passed in parliament would not allow this Act to be implemented in Tripura, as they apprehended it would make an adverse effect on socio-economic and political interests of the indigenous people, who have already reduced to a minority in their own homeland in Tripura.

Besides, state police and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans, paramilitary forces like CRPF and Assam Rifles were deployed in the sensitive locations while BSF have been put on alert. The security on national highways was increased to keep the vehicles movement smooth. However, in several places tension erupted between police and the protestors.

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