The leader of Opposition and former chief minister Manik Sarkar on Monday demanded a judicial probe into last week's Citizenship bill protests at Madhabbari, which led to the injury of at least seven persons, including a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel. Police resorted to lathicharge, burst tear gas shells and opened fire in the air on January 8 to disperse agitators, who blocked highways seeking revocation of Citizenship Bill.
Six Twipra Student Federation (TSF) were among those who sustained injuries in the incident. Criticizing the police action, Sarkar, who took a tour of Madhabbari in West Tripura district, said "firing on the protesters was not necessary". "Many shops and houses were burnt and damaged in Madhabbari and its adjacent areas in Jirania sub-division during the agitation. The protesters received bullet injuries on their back, which indicates that they were running away.
"A judicial probe should be carried out into the incident by a sitting High Court judge," Sarkar told reporters. The former CM, however, declined to comment on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is pending Rajya Sabha approval. The legislation seeks to grant nationality to non- Muslims who fled religious persecution in three neighbouring countries and entered India before December 31, 2014. It was passed by the Lok Sabha last week. Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb ordered a magisterial inquiry into Madhabbari clashes.
However, regional parties in the state, including Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) - an alliance of BJP -led government - and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), Tipraland State Party (TSP), have demanded a judicial probe into the incident. Five tribal parties on Saturday observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, constituting two-thirds of the state's territory, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb over the incident.
(With inputs from agencies.)