AGARTALA: At least eight party offices of the main Opposition CPI-M in Tripura were either burnt down or damaged while many vehicles and other assets were smashed on Wednesday in Agartala and three other districts of the state, the police and party sources said.
The leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), including the party's politburo member and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, said that the ruling party workers led by the BJP leaders were responsible for the attacks on the party offices in Agartala, southern Tripura's Udaipur, Santir Bazar, Western Tripura's Dukli, and at Boxanagar, Bishalgarh and Khatalia in Sepehijala district.
The BJP leaders, however, have denied the allegations.
Trpiura Left Front convener Bijan Dhar said that the CPI-M's district office in Bishalgarh was first damaged by a bulldozer and then set on fire, reducing most of the assets and papers to ashes.
He also said that six vehicles and more than a dozen two-wheelers were burnt down in Agartala and other places of the state.
"Ministers, the Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly and senior BJP leaders have been urging their party workers and members to continue attacks on the opposition party members and their offices," Dhar told the media.
He also said that a large number of party workers, including leaders Nani Paul and Partha Pratim Majumder, were seriously injured in the series of attacks on Wednesday.
Dhar, a CPI-M central committee member, said that the "BJP goons" have damaged the statue and photographs of former Chief Minister Dasaratha Deb and other late party leaders in the party offices.
The Left leader said that the "BJP backed goons and their workers" also attacked the office of the party's mouthpiece "Daily Desher Katha".
Sarkar, who was the Chief Minister for 20 years (1998-2018), said that during the arsoning and unprecedented attacks on CPI-M party offices in different parts of Tripura, he spoke to the Chief Secretary, Kumar Alok, and senior police officials, requesting them to stop these pre-planned political violence.
"The police in most places remained mute spectators as the BJP men unleashed reign of terror almost simultaneously at 8 to 10 places," he told the media.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that Sarkar himself has been instigating violence in different parts of Tripura to create lawlessness in the peaceful state.
"On Monday (Sept 6), Sarkar, while visiting his Assembly constituency in Dhanpur, provoked the CPI-M workers to unleash attacks on the BJP workers. People of the state do not want to repeat the political violence that was a regular feature during the 25 years of CPI-M rule.
"Today (Wednesday), when the BJP members and leaders were holding rallies in Agartala and in other parts of the State, stones were hurled on them by the CPI-M workers," Bhattacharjee claimed. (IANS)