Cong's 12-hour shutdown call evokes partial response in Tripura


Agartala, Jan 18 (IANS) The 12-hour shutdown called by the opposition Congress in Tripura on Monday to protest against the alleged attack on the state's party president Pijush Biswas by "BJP goons", evoked a partial response.

Police officials said that no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state except a clash between the Congress and the ruling BJP supporters in western Tripura's Teliamura in Khowai district.

Police arrested around 300 bandh supporters for picketing in different places across eight districts. Shops, markets and business establishments remained open in many areas.

Most passenger vehicles plied as usual while the Northeast Frontier Railways operated most of its passenger and goods trains in Tripura.

Government offices, banks and financial institutions functioned almost normally.

Congress leaders alleged that the ruling BJP workers, accompanied by "notorious goons", attacked Biswas in Western Tripura's Bishalgarh in Sepehijala district late Saturday evening.

While the state party chief narrowly escaped, several party workers were injured, they said.

Congress' Tripura Vice President Tapas Dey said that the attack was carried out by a large number of BJP workers and goons in the presence of police and no one has been arrested as yet despite an FIR being lodged with the police on Saturday.

Biswas, a veteran lawyer, later told the media that the "BJP goons" carried out the attack to murder him and badly damaged his car with iron rods and sticks besides injuring the driver.

"The BJP led government in Tripura is not only an undemocratic government, it also has barbaric governance. People should hold an all out protest against the BJP government," he said.

The ruling BJP and the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist condemned the attack and demanded that the attackers be booked.

BJP's state chief spokesman Subrata Chakraborty demanded an impartial inquiry to unearth the truth.

"We urge the police to take appropriate legal action against the attackers. The probe would reveal whether it is an attack or outcome of the Congress' internal feud. The Congress also should not call the strike as it affects peace and progress. However, the people totally rejected the shutdown," Chakraborty said.



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