CPI(M) workers in Delhi protested against the violence inflicted at the offices and homes of leaders of the main opposition Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) in Tripura by a fierce mob of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, politburo members Brinda Karat, Prakash Karat, Subhashani Ali, Rajya Sabha MP V Sivdasan, Delhi state secretary KM Tiwari, CPI national general secretary D Raja and many other leaders participated in the protest.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that this is not just an attack on CPI(M) but on the democracy of the country. BJP and RSS want to destroy the constitutional values of the country.
Yechury said that this attack is an attempt to suppress the people's struggle being fought by us, but they do not know that we are not going to be afraid. The attack took place when the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of CPI(M), took out a procession in relation to its national campaign 'Kahan Hai Hamara Rozgar?' (Where is our job?). Such demonstrations have been happening in different states across the country. In Delhi too, the DYFI has asked the same question of the Kejriwal government and given a call to surround the Chief Minister's residence on September 12. However, BJP leaders and the Tripura government has said that CPI(M) workers had allegedly attacked a BJP worker, injuring him seriously.
BJP's claims raise serious doubts because ever since the change of power in Tripura, the opposition has been continuously accusing it of violence. Even in the Panchayat elections, the BJP was accused of not allowing Left-supported candidates to file their nominations. Recently, on Monday, former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was stopped from going to Dhanpur and CPI(M) had alleged violence at that time too.
Aman Saini, Delhi State Secretary, DYFI, told NewsClick that the BJP government in Tripura is trying to suppress the voice of discontent among the people. Today unemployment in Tripura is at a record level, but when the youth ask for employment, the government is attacking them.
CPI(M) said that its Udaipur sub-divisional office, Gomti district committee office, Sipahijala district committee office, Vishalgarh sub-divisional committee office, West Tripura district committee office and Sadar sub-divisional committee office have been burnt and damaged.
The most dangerous attack took place on the State Committee office in Agartala. The ground floor and first floor of the office were vandalized, two office cars were torched and a statue of the respected public leader of Tripura, Dashrath Deb, was vandalised.
Even the media who attempted to question the government were not spared from the attacks. The offices of an electronic media channel 'PN-24 News' and a newspaper 'Pratibha Kalam' were also attacked. At the same time, the office of the CPI(M)-backed newspaper 'Daily Desharkatha' was also damaged.
Prakash Karat responded to the government's claim that it was a political clash and said, "It is not a skirmish but a well-planned attack. They want to intimidate the Left Front workers so that we stop protesting. These attacks can't stop us from fighting for people's issues."
He further said that this is not the first attack, before this Congress also attacked us and killed more than 400 of our workers. We won the next elections with a majority of two thirds and ran the government for 25 years. We would do the same in the next elections in Tripura.
Significantly, the police in many of these places also remained silent. There is a video in which some CRPF jawans were present in front of the CPI(M) state committee office but were called back an hour before the attacks.
Earlier, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury wrote to the Prime Minister, saying his party's offices in Tripura were attacked by a "mob of BJP people" on September 8.
"We strongly urge you to intervene without any delay to stop these violent attacks against CPI(M) and the Left Front. The manner in which the attacks took place makes it clear that the State Government is grossly failing in discharging its Constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order and trampling on the Constitutional rights of the opposition to organise political activities in a peaceful manner," Yechury wrote in his letter.
The full letter can be read here.
The Haryana State Committee of CPI(M) has also called upon all its units to take to the streets against this barbaric violence. State Secretary Surendra Singh issued a statement and said that the pre-planned attack on CPI(M) offices, including state headquarters, in Tripura by a mob of BJP workers is condemnable.
Singh said that the impunity with which that the BJP gangs are working shows the complicity of the state government in Tripura. These attacks happened because the ruling party failed in its attempts to suppress the activities of the main opposition party in the state.
He further said that this humiliating attack on democracy and opposition should be condemned by all democratic-minded people and parties.
CPI(M) said the central government, especially the Home Ministry, should immediately intervene to ensure that the rule of law is maintained in Tripura and the rights of citizens are protected.