People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 17, 2008
INPT Intensifies Marauding Activities On Poll-Eve
IN a last-gasp blatant bid to block the ongoing statewide jubilant preparations of the people of Tripura to instal a sixth Left Front government in Tripura, the Congress-INPT combine is over-busy with a conspiratorial campaign to undermine the Left Front's foundation, i.e. the profound faith of the people in it, by vitiating the pro-poll atmosphere in the state. On February 5 night, INPT goons killed Dilip Debbarma, a CPI(M) supporter, at a time the union minister of state and Congress observer in Tripura, Prithviraj Chouhan, was protesting against the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat's statement made at the party's central election rally at Agartala. At this rally, Karat had only reminded the audience how the erstwhile prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had then conspired with the extremist outfit TNV to undemocratically dislodge the Left Front government of Tripura in 1988. One must note that INPT is the overground political wing of the NLFT, an outlawed extremist outfit that incorporated the erstwhile TNV.
Disillusion with the INPT-NLFT heinous tactics, Dilip Debbarma had left the INPT two years ago and had since then been working for the Left in the Simna constituency of West Tripura district, with full energy and enthusiasm.
In another provocative bid, Congress candidate Bibhu Debi recently incited some tribal people to capture and squat on a piece of vested land in a part of the state capital.
Alarmed by the almost daily phenomenon of massive erosion of its support base statewide, the desperate Congress-INPT combine had been threatening Dilip Debbarma for quite a long time for his pro-CPI(M) activities. In late evening on February 5, three to four gunmen, hooded in black, knocked at the door of his house situated in a remote corner of Simna. As he opened the door, they dragged him some distance at gunpoint and shot him dead.
Due to the inaccessibility of the area, the information of the incident could not reach the police in the night.
Within an hour after this murder, 30-35 INPT hoodlums, armed with sharp weapons, raided this remote village and threatened the local CPI(M) activists with dire consequences.
The hoodlums did not stop at that. Next day, after the post mortem, the goons attacked a procession of the CPI(M) when the local candidate and minister Pranab Debbarma, party activists and supporters were on their way to Dilip Debbarma's house with his dead body. Already assembled from several areas at a certain spot on the way, a few hundreds of INPT supporters and miscreants attacked the CPI(M) workers in the procession and attempted to snatch the dead body away, though prompt police action prevented a flare-up of the incident.
In late afternoon, after a protest meeting against this rowdyism, over a thousand CPI(M) activists and supporters marched through about 10 sq km of area, roaring the slogan that conspiratorial killings could not win votes for the INPT-Congress combine. The march ended with another protest meeting, which gave a fervent call for protecting the fortress of the Left built there with the blood of the martyrs.
In a press conference on February 6, CPI(M) state secretariat member Gautam Das on behalf of the party's state committee vehemently protested the preposterous ploy of the INPT to gain political mileage out of the pre-planned killing of Dilip Debbarma. He said the killing aimed to pollute on the poll-eve the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in Tripura.
One notes that, since the notification of the assembly election to be held on February 23, the Congress-INPT combine has at several places ransacked or razed to the ground the CPI(M)'s booth offices and destroyed the publicity materials. At 4 or 5 places, photo-identity cards of voters have been snatched away to debar them from exercising their franchise. Quite a number of local level Left Front leaders and activists have been attacked. Already on December 31, Chandramohan Debbarma, a dauntless and spirited CPI(M) leader, was brutally killed at Uttar Maharanipur in West Tripura by the extremist associates of the Congress-INPT combine.
And now, in a novel but nefarious bid for provocation, it has been reported that the Congress-INPT leadership has hatched a conspiracy to instigate some tribal people to usurp vested land in a part of Agartala. This comes at a time when the people and the administration are engaged in ensuring a free and fair poll in a festive atmosphere. Since February 3, a group of well-dressed cellphone wielding tribals have been squatting on a spot near the governor's house and also grabbed some more adjoining land on February 6.
Alleging that the Congress candidate and former Congress minister, Bibhu Debi, has goaded these tribal people to grab the land, Gautam Das vehemently protested against such a mean move of the Congress-INPT combine, designed to destabilise the pre-poll scenario in Tripura. An unholy alliance, which is driven to such desperation by its gaping and growing isolation from the people, cannot but usurp the ordinary people's hearth and home, having once captured the power by foul means, he maintained.
Significantly, disillusioned by the diabolical demeanours of the two parties, about 58,000 families formerly supporting the Congress and INPT have already joined the Left camp. A large number of them are actively participating in the poll campaign of the CPI(M).
At his February 6 press conference, Gautam Das said Prithviraj Chouhan's remark in protest against a part of Prakash Karat's public speech in Agartala was irresponsible, as neither Rajiv Gandhi nor TNV supremo Bijoy Hrangkhawl ever denied the allegations of Rajiv Gandhi's conspiracy with the extremist TNV outfit to oust the Left Front government in February 1988. Nor can even the union home ministry deny that the INPT is the political mask of outlawed extremists, he added. Above 800 CPI(M) leaders and activists have already been martyred at the hands of the extremists, just as 35 CPI(M) activists and supporters were killed on the eve of the 2003 assembly elections. On the other hand, not a single Congress activist has even been killed by any extremist, Das pointed out. He also recalled how the NLFT extremists had at gunpoint hijacked the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC in brief) in the May 2000 elections to this body. Das challenged the union home ministry to deny his information that INPT leaders have held secret meetings with other extremists at Guwahati, Shillong and Aizwal on the eve of this year's assembly elections too, and also that extremist leaders have haggled with certain state level as well as central level Congress leaders on seat adjustment with the INPT.
Vehemently protesting Prithviraj Chouhan's remark that it is the Left Front government that is responsible for the underdevelopment of Tripura , he said the Congress party has to honestly accept its responsibility for the three long decades of deprivation meted out to the landlocked Tripura, forcing this state to languish in darkness since the country's independence and partition. (INN)