Clashes In West Tripura Incited By Minister, Locals Allege

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The four men who allegedly molested the girl were arrested. (Representational)


The 300-odd people of West Tripura district, who had fled the area after their homes were torched and looted over the alleged molestation of a girl, said Saturday that they were scared to return.

They alleged that the looting and ransacking of their houses in Lalit Bazar locality under Ranirbazar police station area began following instigation of revenue minister and prominent tribal leader NC Debbarma, who had gone there Friday.

Mr Debbarma, president of the Indigenous People's Front Tripura (IPFT), declined to comment on the charge.

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Prohibitory orders were promulgated in the area for 48 hours from 8 am Saturday, Sub-divisional Magistrate Subhasish Bandopaddhyaya said. He added that at least four houses were set ablaze on Friday and many others ransacked and looted.

Officials have started recording the losses, he said.

There was no problem after the initial confrontation on Thursday over the alleged molestation. But a group started torching and looting houses only after the minister's visit, said the people who had fled and are now sheltered in a school near their village.

"The ransacking and looting of our houses started only after NC Debbarma visited the spot. He came here at 9 am and looting of our houses started around an hour later. He had instigated the tribal youths to do the misdeeds," 50-year-old Samena Khatun, who was among of the 300 people, alleged.

"My house was ransacked. The gas cylinder, gas stove and golden jewellery were taken away. My ducks and chickens were looted. All these happened when the minister was present. When we told him about the looting, he said they (attackers) do not listen to him," she said.

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