Vol. XLIII No. 07 February 17, 2019

100 Days of BJP-IPFT Repressive Rule in Tripura

Haripada Das

YET another CPI(M) leader, Tapas Sutradhar of Panisagar Sub-Division under North Tripura district, was killed on June 18 by the BJP assassins. Sutradhar was the Party’s Panisagar sub-divisional committee member, state committee member of the All India Kisan Sabha, and former pradhan of Uttar Padmabill gram panchayat. His body was identified by the villagers the next morning. He was killed at Padmabill near his house, while he was returning from a marriage ceremony at night. His throat was found slit. It is a pre-planned political murder carried out by BJP assassins. With this murder, four CPI(M) members have been butchered in the first 100 days of the BJP-IPFT regime. The three other members are Rakesh Dhar of Baikhora, South Tripura; Ajendra Reang of Chechua village, Gomati district; and Pradip Debbarma of Bash Kobara Para, West Tripura district.


the ruling coalition partners have intensified their fascistic attacks on democratic rights and fundamental rights of the people. Being guided by political vindictiveness, the government demolished more than hundred Party and trade union offices on the plea that those are on ‘khas land’. A good number of these offices were established 30-40 years ago. Notices have been issued for demolition of many more offices. Both the BJP and the IPFT are in a race to grab power of the elected local bodies like three-tier panchayat, village committee under TTAADC, and elected urban bodies. Though more than 90 per cent of these bodies were run by the Left Front, the new ruling party miscreants are putting enormous pressure on the members of these bodies either to join BJP or resign from the body. In many places, they forced and even physically assaulted the elected members to get the resignation letter signed. The government is contemplating to conduct by-election in the vacant seats of these bodies. Without tacit support of the government, it is impossible for the BJP miscreants to carry out these undemocratic activities.   


Raids of the saffron brigade on the party and mass organisation offices as well as on the houses of the Left Front supporters are going unabated. Selective left supporters are subjected to onslaughts of extortion of huge quantum of money on the plea to meet the expenditure on the BJP’s party programme. On June 18, the DYFI Udaipur Sub-Divisional Committee organised a blood donation camp at the employees’ coordination committee office of Udaipur town. About 50 youths including one woman were enlisted to donate blood. Officials from the health department also attended the camp with necessary equipment. They started collecting blood. About one-third of the donors completed donation. Soon after, the BJP miscreants appeared in the camp and started vandalising all equipment of the blood collection and forced the health department employees to close collecting blood in a camp organized by the DYFI. This has happened in broad day light and in the presence of hundreds of people including enlisted blood donors.

All the government hospitals are facing extreme shortage of blood for the past six months, mainly because of assembly election and post-election violence unleashed by BJP workers. Recently, Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman made a call to the youths of the state and all youth organisations to come forward to donate blood to meet the crisis. He also admired the role of former chief minister Manik Sarkar who made blood-donation a popular movement in the state. DYFI was responding to his call and organised this blood donation camp. In this case also, the police did not dare to intervene.


General law and order situation has practically broken down. In reality, law and order of the state is now at the hands of the BJP hoodlums instead of police. Murders, torture on women, theft, pilferage, onslaughts of narcotic traders are on the rise. In many places, police are denying to accept FIR if any BJP worker is named in it and even if FIR is lodged, no action is taken. BJP goons are frightened of any attempt of the CPI(M) leaders or workers to contact with masses. To make them sit idle, BJP miscreants even carry on attack on the CPI(M) leaders and workers whenever they come out to the market or when they visit the house of the other comrades. With the same objective to cut off the mass contact, they organised blockade on the way of the movement of the CPI(M) legislature party led by Leader of the Opposition in the distressed tribal areas last week.

By this time Ashutosh Debnath, CPI(M) South Tripura District Committee member was fatally assaulted while he came out to marketplace at Santirbazar on June 7. Nilanjana Roy, SFI State President, was attacked by the BJP women gang at her house June 4. On the same day, DYFI Sonamura Sub-Divisional Secretary Nityananda Barman was attacked at Melaghar town. While Debnath and Roy had to be shifted to Kolkata for treatment, Barman required week-long treatment at a local hospital to recover. MLA Sudhan Das was attacked in his own constituency for visiting the houses of terror-stricken left supporters. For reasons best known to all, not a single perpetrator was arrested as yet.


In Agartala, shops of about 100 small traders were removed during the demolition of CPI(M) and CITU offices. In Pecharthal and Kumarghat of Unakoti district, 803 small traders have been served with eviction notices. This demolition and eviction drive of the government has created discontent among a section of the people. During the Left Front regime, for any eviction from khas land required for developmental purpose, the government was committed to provide alternative arrangements for the affected families.


The BJP-IPFT alliance government has declared its policy for recruitment in all posts including Group ‘D’ posts on the basis of written examination. Qualified shortlisted candidates in written test shall have to face interview in camera. This will only benefit the creamy lair section of the society mostly in urban areas. In the recruitment policy of the Left Front government, there was a provision to give opportunity to the senior-cum-needy candidates and there was a policy of sub-division-wise distribution of posts in proportion with the number of candidates in respective sub-divisions. This policy has been abandoned.


After several months’ continued crisis of food and work in rural tribal areas, only 10-12 days’ work in MNREGA schemes was provided in some blocks. Work was supervised by the BJP-IPFT workers bypassing the elected panchayats and village committees.  Payment of wage has not yet been made. While the BJP supporters got 10-12 days’ work, the workers known to be left supporters got only 2-3 days’ work. That apart, in any work site, about half of the total workers are BJP volunteers who are paid from the MNREGA fund. Within close proximity, the state was affected by heavy flood twice recently. While there was total mismanagement in rescue operation and distribution of food and shelter to the flood-affected families, similar partisan behaviour in political consideration was noticed in distribution of relief also. In many places, the people started expressly criticising the government for their partisan approach.


Many ration shops are closed. The government introduced biometric identification of the card-holders for lifting ration goods. This is a troublesome procedure to get ration goods. Firstly, because it is mandatory for the card-holder to draw ration. Secondly, due to lack of internet connectivity in large parts of the state, identification of card-holder is not possible. Many of the card-holders are aged and they are not in a position to physically appear in the ration shop. So, a large number of card-holders are deprived of ration goods for this reason. In many ration shops, sub-standard goods are being distributed.


The government has issued a memorandum to review the performance of government employees who crossed 50 years of age and/or whose service length is more than 30 years. On review, if their performance found unsatisfactory, they would be served superannuation notice. This memorandum gives the government arbitrary power to take decision on whom to retain and whom to spare.  There is every possibility that the government would take vindictive approach to tame the employees who are critical to the government. This has created serious repercussion among a section of the employees.


Defying terror and intimidation, May Day and 200TH birth anniversary of Karl Marx was observed in many places. Mass stay-ins were organized, one by the Left Front and another by the CITU, on the issue of curtailment of democratic and human rights of the people, attack on elected bodies, etc. Jana Adhikar Manch, AIKS, and youths organised protest march. The Student-Youth front organised a militant march in Agartala, condemning the attack on SFI leader Nilanjana Roy. Sub-division-level party leaders served deputation to sub-divisional magistrates and district magistrates, demanding restoration of peace and stoppage of onslaughts of BJP hoodlums.