The Tripura Government's decision to set up a new COVID-19 treatment centre at Sahid Bhagat Singh hospital of Agartala city has triggered massive unrest at the Khejurbagan locality on Sunday, as hundreds of locals took to the streets to oppose the Government's move as a mark of their resentment.
The situation took a grave turn when locals blocked the VIP road of the city that connects the Civil Secretariat and the High Court with the city and policemen who rushed to the location to clear the road road blockade were pelted with stones by locals. The locals, in an apparent bid to express their resentment at the setting up of the facility, blocked the road in the beginning of the office hours and demanded the Government to shift the facility somewhere else due to a perceived threat to the local populace.
According to locals, sirens of ambulances have forced them to spend sleepless nights. "Since the decision has been taken by the government, 6 to 7 ambulances with COVID-19 infected patients keep coming to the area. Sometimes, the doors of the ambulance remain open", complained a local, talking to media. "We want this treatment centre to be shifted permanently", he added.
Later, a huge contingent of police and TSR Jawans in presence of SDM Sadar Ashim Saha rushed to the spot and after being resisted by the locals, resorted to Lathi charge. Within half an hour the agitators were dispersed and the situation was brought back under control, said police.
Speaking on the issue, SDPO NCC Priyamadhuri Majumder said that 6 people have been arrested so far for "inciting disturbance" and said that there are no injuries. However, locals have claimed that some sustained injuries in the baton attck.
SDM Ashim Saha, meanwhile, says that the the agitation itself flouted the social distancing protocols. "What they were demanding was a separate issue, but the way they had crowded the roads without adhering to social distancing norms poses a threat to themselves, the people in the administration and law enforcing machinery", Saha said.