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Tripura villagers return home spending three nights in forest following political violence

As many as 42 people from 10 families of Lebacherrapara of Bhomracherra village under Nutanbazar police station of Gomati district in a video message had alleged that they were evicted from the helmet by ruling BJP cadres for their allegiance to royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman’s TIPRA.

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Agartala: A day after sending distress video messages on social media from the forest, the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC) administration with the help of police brought back the affected families at home.

As many as 42 people from 10 families of Lebacherrapara of Bhomracherra village under Nutanbazar police station of Gomati district in a video message had alleged that they were evicted from the helmet by ruling BJP cadres for their allegiance to royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman’s TIPRA.

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In response to the situation call, senior politician and ADC executive member Animesh Debbarma along with others rushed to the forest yesterday and found the villagers including children and women were living with forest edibles spending night under open sky for three days. Animesh called police and spoke to BJP leaders seeking assurance of security of the villagers and finally brought them back to the village.

Allegedly, there was infight between BJP and TIPRA over the control of village council activities there like other parts of the state. The BJP cadres allegedly had resorted to attack on the families identified as TIPRA supporters on June 16 night and threatened them to kill unless they joined the BJP. They ransacked their houses, shops, motorbikes and auto-rickshaw after assaulting them allegedly in presence of policemen.

Feared with the warning, the families moved to forest leaving home and hearth behind but police were not aware of it. After three days, a video message was gone viral in social media explaining their distressed condition in the forest, which raised an alarm to police and local administration

According to report, TIPRA after winning ADC elections has not been allowing village councils to function across the state. The village council was earlier after the 2018 assembly poll BJP and IPFT took over and constituted a nominated committee dissolving the elected bodies. After winning ADC, last month TIPRA claimed that since they won ADC, the functioning of village councils has automatically vested them, as there were no elected committees.

As many as 134 clashes over capturing of village councils were reported in past one and half months in different ADC villages across Tripura. In many places, BJP people were beaten up by TIPRA supporters when they had gone for council works and in several places they put locks and keys in the offices.

To resolve the fiasco, recently, the state government has asked the revenue block authorities to take over the charges of Village Councils as administrator till the elected committees are formed, which Tipra Motha opposed saying that in sixth scheduled area block has no rule in administration, as ADC has it’s zonal development officer to look after the administration of village council area.

Pradyot said ADC will function as per the provisions of the sixth schedule of the constitution, not by any notification of the state government beyond jurisdiction. Three tier panchayats are not applicable in ADC. Hence, the role of blocks is not mandatory.

TIPRA leaders want to control the Village Councils and monitor implementation of welfare schemes including NREGA, as they have been running the administration. Moreover, people now looking after Village Council activities are not elected members and illegally occupy the posts.

“I have spoken to all concerns including the deputy chief minister to bring those families back to home. I am really shocked to see the political culture of violence, which was brought by leftist in Tripura and persuaded for 25 yrs. Now, the same people shifted their allegiance to both TIPRA and BJP. So, their inherited character of violence to take control of development funds is the root cause of such unfortunate happenings. I am in politics just for empowerment of our indeginious people, not anything else and expect the support from all the political parties,” Pradyot stated.

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