People still on highway blockade , massive deployment of police and TSR jawans, agitators do not trust the government

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, Updated: November 21, 2020, 01:22:01 PM   

Tripura government is currently plagued by a serious credibility crisis as reflected in the stand taken by the agitators of Kanchanpur whose blockade of the national highway is continuing till latest reports came in. Despite heavy deployment of police and TSR jawans to the tune of at least 1500 in number, vacating virtually all police stations and TSR posts of north Tripura the agitators categorically told the officials trying to persuade them to withdraw the blockade that "we will either die on the highway or obtain written assurance from the government about fulfillment of our demands". The huge crowd of agitators comprise leaders and workers of all parties of the state, BJP, Congress, CPI (M) and smaller parties and all sections of people of Kanchanpur.

Highly placed official sources from Panisagar, speaking on condition of anonymity , said that the credibility gap between the state government, specially the chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb and the people and leaders of agitating joint action committee came to the fore yesterday when there was a bipartite discussion between officials led by DM (north) Nagesh Kumar B. and top leaders of joint action committee. "We are not ready to withdraw our programme on the basis of any verbal appeal from you or the chief minister , what we want is written assurance either from the DM (north) or the chief secretary on behalf of the state government ; the advocate general himself told the high court that chief minister's statement does not constitute a formal order of the government; the chief minister had assured us earlier that the Reang refugees would be resettled in all eight districts of the state in a spread out manner but the reverse happened ; the tender floated for rehabilitation work makes it clear that the entire lot of 35 thousand refugees will be resettled in Kanchanpur subdivision alone ; so without written assurance we are not going to withdraw our agitation" said president of joint action committee Dr Jairang Chhiama and senior leader Ranjit Nath.

In the chain of events today one civilian Srikanta Das has fallen to bullets fired by the personal security officer of DSP , Panisagar. According to information given on condition of anonymity,altogether seven fire brigade personnel, 7 police TSR personnel and 15 civilian agitators sustained injuries while another police man , as yet unidentified, is critical in hospital. The SP (west) Bhanu Pada Chakraborty's vehicle was also seriously damaged as there was heavy stone pelting by the agitator all along. There is an uneasy lull in the highway at Panisagar but fresh trouble may erupt soon as all party supporters and workers as well as hundreds of students are sitting on the highway but there is no meaningful initiative from the political authority in the state government to engaged with the agitators and fulfill their legitimate demands. In the evening the deputy chief minister Jishnu Debbarma is reported to have gone to the chief minister's residence to discuss the issue but the state government's stand is still not clear.


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