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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightViolence during VHP...

Violence during VHP rally in Tripura; mosque, shops vandalised

Violence during VHP rally in Tripura; mosque, shops vandalised

Agartala: During a VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad) protest rally on Tuesday evening, a mosque and a few shops were vandalised while two shops were set on fire in North Tripura, 155km from Agartala, The Indian Express (TIE) reported. The rally was held against the recent vandalism spree that occurred in Bangladesh during Durga Puja and ensuing violence.

Panisagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) told TIE that the protest rally had a strength of 3,500 people at Panisagar. A team of VHP activists at the rally ransacked a mosque in the Chamitilla area. Three houses and shops each were looted in Rowa Bazar, where two shops were set on fire. Both the places were just 800 yards apart.

The vandalised houses and shops belong to people from the minority community. Based on a complaint, a case has been registered, police said. Strong security has been deployed in all the sensitive areas in and around the place to avoid further incidents.

Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal leader Narayan Das from Panisagar told TIE that some armed youths in front of a mosque were hurling abuses and chanting Pakistan Zindabad and religious slogans, which provoked the protesters in the rally leading to sporadic incidents.

Narayan said that VHP organised the protest rally in Panisagar and planned to walk the rally through Chamtilla, Rowa, Jalebasha etc., and was to end at Panisagar motor stand. The mentioned youths in front of the mosque were at Rowa.

Narayan alleged that a section of the administration wanted to get the situation out of control since they didn't deploy enough security for the rally.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said he wasn't aware of the incident, but he believed the police would take the required action. CPIM leader Pabita Kar said that similar incidents were happening in Tripura after the violence in Bangladesh and alleged that BJP is orchestrating these incidents. He said Tripura is known for communal harmony and peace, and the state government should maintain the same.

Last Friday, Tripura State Jamiat Ulama (Hind) had approached the state chief minister's office and submitted a memorandum alleging attacks on minority habitations and mosques in recent days. However, a senior Tripura Police officer told TIE that there were "a few stray disturbances", but no serious law and order incident occurred.

The police are giving security to 150 mosques in the area, he said. He confirmed the vandalism at a mosque near Agartala and added that the incidents were under investigation, and they were analysing CCTV footage.

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