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March 1, 2019

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday condemned the role of a section of police and security personnel during the January 8 firing on a group of protesters who were staging a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Madhabbari in West Tripura.

Referring to the magisterial enquiry report, the chief minister, who holds the Home portfolio, said, “As per the report, protesters had begun gathering at Maddhabari in West Tripura since 8 am on January 8. Police were deployed since 6 am. Section 144 (of Indian Penal Code) was imposed in the area since 10.45 am. The sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Jirania had sufficient forces but could not control the incident due to lack of coordination between the police and para-military personnel. Appropriate action will be taken against the SDPO. The chief minister was addressing the last day of the Assembly session when he presented the report.

The chief minister also claimed that an ambulance, carrying patients from Kherengbar Hospital at Khumulwng towards GBP Hospital in Agartala, was attacked by police and security personnel near an ONGC installation at Dasharambari area, five kilometres away from the protest venue.

“The involved personnel could not be specifically identified but we have come to know that police, TSR and CRPF personnel from 71 battalion’s G-71 and F-71 platoon were deployed in the area. Also, one constable Sukanta Bhowmik, who is serving at West Tripura SP’s office, was also reportedly present on the spot. This role of police is not tolerable. Police personnel engaged for public safety cannot disrupt peace,” he asserted.

Director General of CRPF and Tripura Police Director Akhil Kumar Shukla have been directed to identify those involved and initiate suitable action.

The magisterial enquiry report also recommended action against Dr Abhisek Majumder for alleged medical negligence while treating Prakhar Debbarma, who was injured in the police firing. Nearly 21 people were injured in the clashes while six of them sustained bullet injuries.

The chief minister also said the injured were provided full assistance from the government.

Deb also said that one Rabi Laxmi Debbarma has accused the TSR jawans of entering her household and damaging property. The chief minister assured strict action against the accused.

Source: Indian Express

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