The law-and-order-situation in BJP-ruled Tripura is deteriorating in the run-up to the civic polls, the Trinamool Congress contended in Supreme Court today, citing violence against its leaders and the speech of a ruling party MLA, where he allegedly advised action on Trinamool workers in “Talibani style”. Citing an earlier Supreme Court order — in which the state was told to provide security to Trinamool leaders and ensure free and fair elections — the Trinamool accused the state officials of contempt and sought action against them.
The court asked the Tripura government to clarify on the August 18 speech of Arun Chandra Bhowmik, where he allegedly asked BJP workers to take action against Trinamool leaders in “Talibani Style”.
“Did the MLA give that speech? If yes, then was any action taken against him?” asked the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Vikram Nath.
Appearing for the state government, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said the MLA has been called for questioning. “I don’t think the speech incited violence. Petitioners are making mountains out of molehills,” he added.
Calling the situation “very serious”, senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing the Trinamool Congress, had said the police are “not doing anything”.
“A journalist has been beaten up. A First Information Report has been registered against the party leader actor Sayoni Ghosh for raising slogans… despite being a victim – she is facing the charge of attempt to murder,” Mr Gupta said, producing some photographs for the court.
“The security situation is so bad that CPM has even withdrawn its candidature,” he added.
“We don’t want to go into bickering right now. We only want to add police presence,” said Justice DY Chandrachud, asking the state government to consider deploying additional battalions of Central paramilitary force for protection.
Political violence in Tripura has spiraled as the Trinamool stepped up its attempts to expand its footprint in the state ahead of the 2023 assembly elections. The party is contesting the Tripura civic polls, due on November 25.
On Sunday, Trinamool youth leader Sayoni Ghosh was arrested and accused of attempt to murder. The party said she and several other leaders were attacked inside the police station. Both police and the BJP have denied the allegations.
Alleging repeated instances of violence, the party decided to take the matter to Delhi. Yesterday, after a day-long dharna at the North Block, they had a 20-minute meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.