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PARLIAMENTARIANS from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led protests today, accusing members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of vicious attacks on people and property.
Members of the legislative assembly (MLA) demonstrated in Tripura’s capital city Agartala, warning of “total lawlessness” in the state, before they started a sit-in protest demanding action from governor Ramesh Bais following violent attacks on opposition politicians and the burning of buildings.
The six-member delegation was led by the north-east Indian state’s former chief minister Manik Sarkar who described the ruling BJP-led government’s rule as “unleashing the jungle raj.”
Mr Sarkar said that CPI-M leaders and MLAs including Tripura legislative assembly member and former minister Badal Chowdhury and Rajya Sabha member Jharna Das Baidya had been attacked at least 12 times since the BJP came to power in 2018.
“A large number of opposition party offices, including district-level offices specially the CPI-M, are either occupied or destroyed by the ruling BJP workers and their goons.
“In many cases police and the concerned authorities are not giving permission to organise indoor or outdoor rallies, meetings and democratic activities,” he said.
The former chief minister warned that thousands of homes, shops and businesses belonging to opposition party members, especially the CPI-M had been burned down, looted or damaged since 2018.
“Crimes against women, including teenagers, minors and elderly women, are happening every week,” Mr Sarkar said.
“The incidents of killing and unnatural deaths have become the order of the day. Police and the law enforcement agencies remain mute spectators leading to a rise in crimes of a horrifying nature,” he added.
At least 14 members of the CPI-M have been murdered in the past 18-months, with the police slow to act and the perpetrators escaping justice.
Mr Chowdhury claimed that “BJP workers and their hooligans” also attacked the funerals and other ceremonies to commemorate the death of CPI-M members.
A widespread ban on protest has been branded unlawful, with the CPI-M warning that he BJP is trampling over people’s constitutional rights.
Tripura is the third-smallest state in India with a population of around 3.6 million and shares a border with Bangladesh.
It was run by the CPI-M for decades until the Hindu nationalist BJP came to power in the 2018 elections.
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