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Tripura lynching cases trigger political blame game

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Press Trust of India Agartala
Three separate lynching cases in a day in Tripura triggered a blame game between the ruling BJP and the opposition CPI(M) and Congress today.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath blamed the CPI(M) for the lynching incidents, while the left party and the Congress held Nath responsible for the cases.
A man hired by the Tripura Information and Culture Department to spread awareness against rumour-mongering, an unidentified woman, and a hawker from Uttar Pradesh were beaten to death on the suspicion of being child-lifters in three districts of the state yesterday.
Assistant Inspector General of Police (law and order) Smriti Ranjan Das said 12 people were arrested in the three cases till this evening.
The mobs had been charged because of the "baseless" comments of organ harvesting by Nath and he is liable for the three deaths, state Congress vice-president Tapas Dey alleged in a press conference here.
The body of an 11-year-old boy with deep wounds on the neck and back was found at Bhumiheen Colony of Mohanpur sub-division in West Tripura district on Wednesday.
Nath, who is the MLA of Mohanpur assembly constituency, has visited the bereaved family the same day.
"In a video that went viral on social media, Nath was seen stating the wounds on the boy's body suggested that his kidneys might have been extracted," Dey said.
However, the chief minister said in the assembly yesterday that no organs were harvested from the boy's body, he said.
The party demanded a probe into the incidents.
CPI(M) spokesperson Goutam Das alleged that the law minister himself should be held responsible for rumour-mongering over the organ harvesting racket.
"How can a minister make such claims without verification? He should take moral responsibility and resign. Otherwise, the chief minister should sack him," Das said.
Deb, the chief minister, said, "The CPI(M) has hatched a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the government with an ulterior motive. Many of those arrested in connection with the incidents were CPI(M) workers."

Nobody involved with the incidents would be spared, he told reporters.
Nath said, "It is the blue print of the CPI(M) to destabilise the BJP-IPFT government, which came to power only three months ago and is providing governance without bias."

"The CPI(M) has started the politics of murder. We will not tolerate it. The CPI(M) is directly involved with the incidents of lynching," he claimed.
The Congress also criticised the state government for suspending the Internet and SMS services for 48 hours in the state.
"It appears as if emergency has been imposed. The government is creating more fear among the people," De said.
Following the lynching incidents, Tripura Director General of Police A K Shukla yesterday suspended SMS and Internet services in the entire state for 48 hours to prevent rumour-mongering.
Sukanta Chakrabarty (33) was lynched by a mob suspecting him of being a child-lifter at Kalachhara in South Tripura district last night. He was a member of a team set up by the state Information and Culture Affairs Department which was campaigning against rumour-mongering.
Chakrabarty was attacked when the team was returning to Sabroom.
An unidentified woman was lynched and another injured when she along with four men was moving in a vehicle at Bishalgarh in Sipahijala district yesterday.
In the third incident, a hawker from Uttar Pradesh was lynched and two others were injured after a mob attacked them on the suspicion of being child-lifters at Murabari in West Tripura district yesterday.
The chief minister appealed to the people to maintain calm, saying there was no child-lifter in the state.
Nath and BJP state vice-president Pratima Bhowmik said they have alerted party workers to thwart any such incident and cooperate with the police.

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First Published: Jun 29 2018 | 10:15 PM IST

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