In Tripura, Congress observes 12-hour strike, over 800 party workers detained

The police detained nearly 836 Congress activists on Monday for picketing in different parts of Tripura during a dawn-to-dusk strike called by the party.

No violence and injuries were reported during the strike barring one woman police officer who received minor injuries, officials said.

The strike partially paralysed normal life with shops and markets being half closed. But government offices had almost full attendance. Educational institutions are closed since end of March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As many as 836 Congress picketers were detained from different parts of the state under Section 151. So far, there has been no report of violence and no injury has been reported. Only officer in-charge of West Agartala Women’s Police Station received minor injuries during detention of the picketers,” said an on-duty police officer at Police Headquarters in Agartala.

The party called the strike in support of the twelve point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving Rs 10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark.

They also protested against alleged attacks on Congress workers by the ruling party cadres. Employment opportunities for youth, security of women, compensation to people who were defrauded by Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), strengthening of indigenous people in the Autonomous District Council areas, stopping harassment of people living along Indo-Bangla border areas etc. were also on their list of demands.

Congress sources said that their activists were attacked in different parts of the state mainly in Kailasahar in Unakoti district, Udaipur in Gomati district and Agartala.

Congress president Pijush Kanti Biswas said, “Our party activists were attacked in different parts of the state and mainly in Agartala. But people responded to our strike to make it a success. We will lodge a complaint against these attacks with the police.”

Reacting to the comments, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “The Congress has no base in the state. And the people didn’t support the strike. None of our party activists attacked the Congress workers. Rather, they ransacked one of our party offices in Kailasahar and also vehicles of our activists. They attacked our youth activists in Agartala, where they were distributing fruit juice to people to boost their immunity to combat Covid-19. We are collecting information on the incidents from different parts of the state and will lodge a case with the police.”

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